U.S. arms flowing to ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels

U.S. arms flowing to ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels

U.S. Congress has "secretly" approved the delivery of light arms to Syrian rebels deemed "moderate" in the south of the country, Reuters news agency reported on Tuesday, citing U.S. and European security officials.

According to report, closed-door Congress votes have funded the arms deliveries until the end of government fiscal year 2014, which ends on Sept. 30.

The weapons include a variety of small arms, as well as some more powerful weapons, such as anti-tank rockets. They do not include, however, shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles, which could shoot down military or civilian aircrafts, the officials told the news agency.

Speaking to Reuters, Bruce Riedel, a former senior CIA analyst and sometime foreign policy adviser to President Barack Obama, described the Syrian civil war as a "stalemate."

"The rebels lack the organization and weapons to defeat Assad; the regime lacks the loyal manpower to suppress the rebellion. Both sides' external allies... are ready to supply enough money and arms to fuel the stalemate for the foreseeable future," Riedel said.

A U.S. official familiar with recent developments said national security officials and members of Congress are more confident that weapons delivered to southern Syria are going to, and remaining in, the hands of moderate rebels rather than militant jihadist factions.

Congress approved funding for weapons deliveries to the Syrian rebels in classified sections of defense appropriations legislation, two sources familiar with the matter said. It was not clear when the funding was approved, but unclassified defense funding passed Congress in late December.

Some additional budget tweaks may be necessary to ensure that all the approved funding is fully available for disbursement during the current fiscal year.

Yet, officials who support providing U.S. arms to the rebels acknowledge that this has not greatly increased U.S. expectations of victory by anti-Assad forces, whether moderate or militant.

Chemical weapons destruction

Meanwhile, A U.S. cargo ship departed Monday on a mission to destroy dozens of containers of deadly chemical weapons being removed from Syria as part of international efforts to dismantle that country's poison gas and nerve agent program.

Defense officials said the MV Cape Ray, which was loaded with sophisticated equipment, left Monday night for the roughly two-week trip across the Atlantic and into the Mediterranean. The mission was delayed briefly when there was an electrical problem with one of the ship's two main engines.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sent a letter to Captain Rick Jordan and the 135-member crew telling them they were embarking on a "historic mission."

"You are about to accomplish something no one has tried," Hagel wrote in the letter released by the Defense Department.

"You will be destroying at sea one of the world's largest stockpiles of chemical weapons and helping make a safer world," he wrote.

Last year, the U.N. Security Council last year backed a U.S.-Russian deal to remove and destroy Syria's chemical arsenal.

The agreement was brokered as a way to avert US missile strikes that Washington threatened after a chemical attack near Damascus, which Washington and other Western governments blamed on the regime.

Under the accord, Syria's entire chemical arsenal is to be eliminated by June 30.

Amnesty International documents strikes by Armenia on Azerbaijani civilian towns, villages during 44-day war
Amnesty International documents strikes by Armenia on Azerbaijani civilian towns, villages during 44-day war
Armenia to go through "Great Depression" in 2021
Armenia to go through "Great Depression" in 2021
Armenia's losses in economy and social sphere to be catastrophic - Russian political strategist
Armenia's losses in economy and social sphere to be catastrophic - Russian political strategist
Loading Bars
Latest
Rajnath Singh meets Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali
Six Indians in top-10 of BWF world junior rankings
Bhutan PM congratulates Modi on 'landmark' Covid vaccination drive
Turkic peoples to revive liberated Azerbaijani lands in spiritual and cultural field - TURKSOY Sec-Gen
Azerbaijan discloses main principles of vaccination against COVID-19
Joint exercises of the Azerbaijani and Turkish armies to be held (PHOTO/VİDEO)
Azerbaijan confirms 845 more COVID-19 recoveries
Kazakhstan's Baikonur extends quarantine until Feb 1
Call for prayer sounded for first time at cemetery in Azerbaijan’s Kalbajar district previously occupied by Armenia (VIDEO)
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for January 17
Quake death toll at 73 as Indonesia struggles with string of disasters
We are happy with Azerbaijan’s return of its ancestral lands - Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan sends interstate statement against Armenia to European Court of Human Rights
Georgia reports 780 coronavirus cases, 1 608 recoveries, 17 deaths
COVID-19 cases continue to drop in Turkey, TRNC braces for new lockdown
Azerbaijan approves COVID-19 vaccination strategy for 2021-2022
Delegation of Turkic Council, Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation and TURKSOY visit Aghdam (PHOTO)
Electricity supplies to Azerbaijan's liberated Shusha begin
Iran discloses number of contracts signed in industrial parks of Ardabil Province
Uzbekistan’s activity on Turkmenistan’s Commodity, Raw Materials Exchange for Dec. 2020
Guatemala cracks down on migrant caravan bound for United States
Iran has means to restore oil extraction
U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Kazakhstan launches ’30 Years Together’ campaign
Brazilian healthcare watchdog declines request for emergency use of Sputnik V vaccine
SOCAR bonds will again bring their owners $1.25 million
Turkey's investments in natural gas supply reach $3B in 18 years
EU would like new EPCA to enhance bilateral relations in Central Asia
Georgia to get first part of Covid vaccine in one month
AEOI issues statement in response to E3
Kazakhstan reports almost 1,000 new COVID-19 cases
U.S. state capitals, Washington on alert for possible pro-Trump armed protests
Argentina confirms first case of new variant of coronavirus
Frankfurt airport terminal shut down over man threatening police
Azerbaijani districts to be digitalized within Smart City project
G7 summit to take place in UK’s Cornwall in June
Volume of essential products available in Iranian ports revealed
France's COVID-19 death toll tops 70,000
Fires in central Chile consume over 3,200 hectares
2 IS militants killed, 6 arrested in Iraq
Iran's Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to fall
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on January 18
President Ilham Aliyev calls President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
WHO reports over 688,000 new daily cases of COVID-19
Tunisian PM appoints new ministers in sweeping cabinet reshuffle
Azerbaijani gymnasts awarded the title of "Honorary Master of Sports"
Thousands march in Vienna against coronavirus restrictions
Uzbekistan's Bukhara oil refinery starts production of RON-95 gasoline under QuWatt brand
Iran's SPGC reveals processing data of its first refinery
Kazakhstan, Greece boost trade turnover year-on-year
Building materials price hikes may increase cost of projects in Georgia
Serbia receives 1 mln Sinopharm vaccines from China
Iran's Rasht-Caspian railway to stimulate development of production
Over 110,000 health workers receive COVID-19 vaccine shots in Istanbul
7 killed in helicopter crash in southern Philippines
New footage from Azerbaijani Aghdam district's Shelli village issued (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Azerbaijan confirms 650 more COVID-19 recoveries
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange soar
Georgian plans to vaccinate 60% of its population
Turkmenistan's MFA holds briefing dedicated to commissioning of infrastructure facilities (PHOTO)
Kazakhstan reports big increase in revenues from transporting cargo by air
Preliminary cost of building pharmaceutical cluster in Tashkent revealed
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for January 16
Member of Turkey's coronavirus board assures efficacy of CoronaVac
Azerbaijan shares footage from Mirzajamally village of Fuzuli district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Summary of Operational Headquarters' amendments to quarantine regime in Azerbaijan
Azercell’s Mobile Eye and Mobile Dental Clinics provided free medical service to the hundreds of residents in 2020! (PHOTO)
Nepal approves emergency use of Covishield vaccine manufactured in India
COVID-19 infection rate falling in Azerbaijan - TABIB
Georgia reveals number of COVID-19 cases for Jan.16
Iran's trade turnover with Turkmenistan decreases
Japan interested in creation JVs in Uzbekistan in production and services spheres
Details of agricultural products exported to Iraq via Iran's Mehran customs announced
Turkmenistan's Main State Service opens tender for equipment purchase
Participation in funeral to be permitted via Azerbaijani Interior Ministry's Call Center
Toughened quarantine in Azerbaijan turned out to be effective - President's assistant
Vaccination of people aged over 65 to begin on Feb. 1 - Azerbaijani president's assistant
Storage facilities for COVID-19 vaccines being created in Azerbaijan's Shusha (UPDATE)
Nepal requests India for early provision of COVID-19 vaccines
S Jaishankar attends sixth meeting of India-Nepal Joint Commission
At 18 million, India has largest diaspora in the world: UN
Azerbaijan to purchase vaccines via Fund for Combating COVID-19
Baku subway, public transport not to work on weekends until quarantine ends
Azerbaijan reveals volume of imported Chinese Sinovac vaccine
Azerbaijan shares footage from liberated Hajikand village of Kalbajar (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Operational Headquarters of Azerbaijan talks international, domestic flights
Prime Minister Modi Launches pan India rollout of COVID-19 vaccination drive
GM to invest C$1 billion in Canada plant to manufacture electric vans
Azerbaijan to start vaccination from COVID-19 - Operational Headquarters
Barbershops and beauty salons in Azerbaijan to start working soon
Kazakhstan sees decrease in exports to EAEU countries
Review of transactions in national currency at Turkmen exchange for Dec. 2020
Total amount of transactions on Turkmen Commodity Exchange for Dec. 2020
Iran's companies can offer technical services in Azerbaijan's Karabakh
Azerbaijan to resume activity of shopping centers, museums, barbershops
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Uzbekistan reveals its COVID-19 data for January 16
Ban on entry-exit to some cities, regions of Azerbaijan remains in force
Azerbaijan makes wearing face masks mandatory both indoor, outdoor
Public catering facilities in Azerbaijan to resume activity soon
Aftershock rocks Indonesia quake zone as search continues
All news