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Rebel Arms Flow Is Said to Benefit Jihadists in Syria

Amazed

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WASHINGTON — Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, according to American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/w...nt-to-syrian-rebels.html?pagewanted=all&_r=2&

Gotta wonder if these were the weapons in Lybia.
 

waltky

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Signals - both to Assad & Iran...
:cool:
Kerry: 11 Nations to Direct Syria Aid Through Rebel General
April 21, 2013 — The U.S. secretary of state, wrapping up his visit to Istanbul, says an important breakthrough has been achieved among countries supporting the Syrian opposition.
Secretary of State John Kerry described the agreement by 11 countries supporting the Syrian opposition to distribute all military aid and assistance through the leadership of General Salim Idris of the Free Syrian Army as a major breakthrough. "I think that maybe one of the most important single things that was agreed on last night that can make a difference to the situation of the ground," said Kerry.

The agreement hammered out late on Saturday night in Istanbul by members of the "Friends of Syria" group is aimed at undermining the growing power of radical Jihadist groups affiliated with al-Qaida that are fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Secure control over the distribution of military aid is seen as important to help persuade European countries and Washington to ease an arms embargo against the rebel forces. Currently, Western countries are only supplying non-lethal aid to the opposition. Opponents of lifting the embargo have expressed fears that sophisticated weapons could end up in radical hands.

Israeli-Turkish relations were also on Secretary Kerry's agenda Sunday. After a working lunch with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, Kerry pressed Ankara to build on U.S.-initiated rapprochement efforts between Turkey and Israel. The United States brokered a diplomatic breakthrough in March with Israel apologizing to Turkey over the killing of nine Turks during a 2010 Israeli naval raid on a flotilla trying to break Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Kerry called on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan to reconsider a planned visit next month to meet with the Hamas leadership in Gaza. "We have expressed to the prime minister that we really think it would be better delayed and should not take place at this time," said Kerry. Kerry expressed concern the visit could harm his efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Erdogan's planned visit to Gaza is opposed by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Kerry said the issue could be raised when the Turkish prime minister visits Washington next month.

Kerry: 11 Nations to Direct Syria Aid Through Rebel General
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US-Israel arms sends ‘signal’ to Iran: Hagel
Mon, Apr 22, 2013 - ‘VERY CLEAR’: US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel arrived in Israel yesterday on the first stop in a regional tour to sell US$10bn worth of weapons to counter ‘the Iran threat’
A major US arms deal with Israel sends a “very clear signal” to Tehran that military action remains an option to stop it from going nuclear, US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told reporters yesterday. Hagel was speaking just before his plane touched down in Tel Aviv at the start of a six-day tour of the region focused on plans to sell US$10 billion worth of advanced missiles and aircraft to Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in a bid to counter the threat posed by Iran.

Asked if a multi-billion dollar arms package with Israel was designed to convey a message that a military strike remains an option, he said: “I don’t think there’s any question that’s another very clear signal to Iran.” The deal will see Israel obtaining anti-radiation missiles designed to take out enemy air defences, radar for fighter jets, aerial refueling tankers and Osprey V-22 tilt-rotor transport aircraft.

It will also see the sale of US F-16 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates and sophisticated missiles to Saudi Arabia. Details were unveiled on the eve of Hagel’s departure on a trip that will focus heavily on tensions over Iran’s nuclear program and the civil war raging in Syria. US and Israeli leaders have been at odds over Iran, with US President Barack Obama’s administration arguing that tough sanctions and diplomacy need to be given more time to work.

However, Israel — believed to be the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear power — has repeatedly warned that time is running out and has refused to rule out a pre-emptive military strike to prevent Iran from obtaining an atomic weapons capability. Hagel plans to discuss with his counterparts in the region the final details of the arms deal and US officials have said it would take months or more for the new weapons and aircraft to be delivered.

US-Israel arms sends ?signal? to Iran: Hagel - Taipei Times
 

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