3.4.16

USA arming al-Qaeda

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How The U.S. Continues To Arm al-Qaeda

By Moon of Alabama


According to rebels in the Turkish border zone, weapons have flowed steadily into Syria since the ceasefire began. Even those who hope for a political settlement aren’t betting on one any time soon. Instead they’re stockpiling for the next round, which they expect will be as desperate as the last.
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“We ask the Friends of Syria and they give us,” [Colonel Hassan Rajoub, commander of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) Division 18], said with a smile. “They have just now given us new supplies of everything. But we want some special weapons to give us a little bit of leverage.”
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[S]everal FSA commanders said the United States had been forthcoming during the ceasefire period, replenishing arms stocks and leaving open the possibility that some anti-aircraft missiles might be released into northern Syria.
“We expect a surprise,” said one satisfied commander.
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“The U.S. military commanders are always with us,” Rajoub said. “We ask. They are very cooperative. They understand our needs.”
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Around Aleppo, It’s Not Peace—Just a Break, Thanassis Cambanis, Century Foundation, March 28 2016


Hard-core Islamists in the Nusra Front have long outgunned the more secular, nationalist, Western-supported rebels. According to FSA officers, Nusra routinely harvests up to half the weapons supplied by the Friends of Syria, a collection of countries opposed to Assad, and has regularly smashed FSA factions that were corrupt and inefficient — or that Nusra thought were getting too strong or too popular.