The CIA suspended military aid to some rebels fighting Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, a move that some opposition fighters believe is intended to prevent U.S. weapons and cash from falling into the hands of Islamic extremists, reports Reuters.
Some U.S.-provided weapons and military equipment have already fallen into the hands of terrorist groups through various means, including CIA-trained Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels defecting to the Islamic State (ISIS/ISI) and surrendering their weapons.
Jihadists have also captured weapons in battle, either left behind by U.S.-trained rebels or taken from them post-mortem.
Moreover, millions of dollars worth of weapons intended for the CIA-trained Syrian rebels have been stolen by officials from U.S. ally Jordan and sold on the black market.
U.S. intelligence and military officials said the leakage, sale and capture of U.S.-supplied and other weapons from units of the FSA [Free Syrian Army] to Islamic State, the Nusra Front, and other splinter militant groups have been a concern since the CIA and U.S. military began arming and training a limited number of rebels.
From the start, said one of the officials, some U.S.-backed rebels have migrated from groups that were battered by Syrian government forces to others such as IS that were seizing and holding territory at the time. Aid has slowed or stopped in [Syria’s] Idlib and nearby areas, officials said, amid fears the pattern may be continuing after rebels lost ground there.
Rebels have reportedly begun to doubt foreign nations will continue to provide support to their war against the brutal Assad in the wake of the suspension of CIA aid, which appears to predominantly benefit FSA fighters. full story