Ex-U.S. Envoy No Longer Backs Arming Syrian Rebels

(McClatchy) Hannah Allam - Former U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford has dropped his call to provide weapons to the rebels. Instead, he's become increasingly critical of them as disjointed and untrustworthy because they collaborate with jihadists. Ford explained in an interview last week that without a strong central command or even agreement among regional players that al-Qaeda's Nusra Front is an enemy, the moderates stand little chance of becoming a viable force, whether against Assad or the extremists. Ford said part of the problem was that too many rebels - and their patrons in Turkey and Qatar - insisted that Nusra was a homegrown, anti-Assad force when in fact it was an al-Qaeda affiliate whose ideology was virtually indistinguishable from the Islamic State's. The U.S. already has suffered a string of embarrassments involving supplies it's donated to the rebels ending up in the hands of U.S.-designated terrorist groups. Ford also said the latest U.S. approach of building a new, handpicked paramilitary to focus on the Islamic State was doomed; there are far too few fighters to take the project seriously.

2015-02-24 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive