Reports: U.S. Personnel Arming and Training Syrian Rebels

By:  Alex Newman
03/12/2013
       
Reports: U.S. Personnel Arming and Training Syrian Rebels

American personnel and allied European governments are secretly training Syrian “rebel” forces at bases in Jordan to wage war against the Bashir al-Assad regime, according to a leading German newspaper and other media reports, which quoted participants and organizers involved in the controversial and almost certainly unlawful operation.

American personnel and allied European governments are secretly training Syrian “rebel” forces at bases in Jordan to wage war against the Bashir al-Assad regime, according to a leading German newspaper and other media reports, which quoted participants and organizers involved in the controversial and almost certainly unlawful operation. The so-called “revolutionaries” — a brutal coalition composed largely of foreign jihadists, self-styled al-Qaeda terrorists, and anti-Assad forces heavily backed by the Obama administration, Western powers, and assorted Sunni Arab dictators — are also known to be receiving vast supplies of weapons, financing, and political support from abroad.

Der Spiegel, one of Germany’s top media outlets, reported that hundreds of “rebels” had already received Western military training in recent months at two Jordan-based camps, though certain brands of Islamic extremists, Salafists in particular, have supposedly been excluded. The number of trained “revolutionaries” is set to balloon to some 1,200 men going forward, according to the report. The end goal: to create about a dozen “Free Syrian Army” units totaling some 10,000 fighters.

It was not immediately clear whether the American trainers were mercenaries working for government-funded "private" companies or were directly employed by the Obama administration and other Western governments. Some, however, were wearing uniforms. Much of the training is geared toward teaching the fighters how to use advanced military hardware such as anti-tank weaponry, according to the Spiegel report.

The U.K. Guardian, a major left-wing British newspaper, recently reported similar findings: U.S. government personnel are indeed training “rebel” forces in Jordan to wage war on Syria. The Guardian, citing Jordanian security officials and Western diplomats, also noted that French and British forces were participating in the Obama administration-led scheme as well. Multiple reports confirmed that intelligence services working for the regime in Jordan were involved in the controversial plot, too, as is the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Reuters reported the news on March 10 but said the German and British media reports could not be “independently verified.” Apparently the Obama administration, like the Socialist government in France and U.K. officials, had no comment on the explosive — though unsurprising — revelations. "I have nothing for you on that," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters Monday when asked about the Spiegel report.

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Photo of Free Syrian Army fighters: AP Images

 

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