Tuesday September 24, 2013
Although the threat of U.S. strikes against Syria has for the time being abated due to intervention from Russian President Vladimir Putin and an agreement from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to declare its stockpiles of chemical weapons to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague to be eventually turned over and destroyed, the ultimate goal of U.S. policy remains regime change.
The U.S. has long been supporting the armed rebels seeking to overthrow the Syrian government. The CIA has been coordinating the flow of arms to the rebels, including anti-tank guided missiles, from Saudi Arabia and Qatar and training them from bases in Turkey and Jordan. More recently, the U.S. has also begun arming the rebels directly.
This support for the rebels continues despite their ranks including Islamic extremist groups, such as the al-Qaeda affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The jihadists are not only recognized as the most effective fighters among the rebel forces, but, as the New York Times reported in October of last year, most of the arms funneled by the CIA ended up in their hands.