America's involvement in covert warfare in Syria is becoming more well known as the Associated Press, among other mainstream media, has begun reporting about U.S. training and arming of Syrian rebel fighters, other than the leading Free Syrian Army rebel group.
Officials who spoke on conditions of anonymity have indicated that the training of Syrian rebels is being run by American intelligence, as well as British and French. The AP noted that the CIA has been helping facilitate the distribution of weapons to such groups for over a year.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Monday,
[The United States has] provided some logistical nonlethal support that has also come in handy for the Syrian rebels who are, again, fighting a regime that is not hesitating to use the military might of that regime against its own people. That is something we're going to continue to work to bring to an end.
But there is increasing evidence that the “rebels” are not very different from the regime they are attempting to overthrow. For instance, rebel groups have been guilty of terroristic activities, such as the four suicide bombings in Aleppo last October that killed approximately 40 civilians and wounded many more.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has not been forthcoming with details on the extent of U.S. military training of the rebels, and has insisted that it is not providing them with weapons, though there are a number of reports contrary to that assertion.
AntiWar.com reports that while the United States is not sending American weapons directly to the rebels, they continue indirectly to help the opposition forces obtain weapons. It writes, “The smuggling has been going on for nearly a year now, with the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] nations, particularly Qatar and Saudi Arabia, leading the way in sending arms to Turkey, where the CIA sees to it they find their way to the border crossings.”
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Photo of Syrian rebel fighter: AP Images