Washington, D.C – The Obama Administration today got backing from the House and Senate Committees on Intelligence as they cleared the way for the US Government to begin extensively arming the Syrian rebels in the conflict overseas. This news comes just a day after the US’s biggest ally in the region, Israel, expressed anger at the apparent leak of information regarding the attack last week on a Syrian missile depot.
Congressman Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said, “The House intelligence committee has very strong concerns about the strength of the administration’s plans in Syria and its chances for success. After much discussion and review, we got a consensus that we could move forward with what the administration’s plans and intentions are in Syria consistent with committee reservations.” The Committee only agreed to the go ahead if the Obama Administration supplied updates on a regular basis regarding the activities of the CIA and arming of the rebels. Many have expressed concern with this course of action, citing that the rebel fighters are made up in large part by Al-Qaeda fighters and other Islamic extremists.
On the Senate side of the aisle, Senator Rand Paul, a staunch opponent of entering the conflict in any way had this to say after the vote from the House Committee, “The Assad regime is no friend to freedom or the United States. But this does not mean the enemy of our enemy is our friend. There are currently 17 different rebel groups in Syria, including the largest group, al-Nusra. Al-Nusra fighters are radical anti-American jihadists that are affiliated with al-Qaeda. Politicians in Washington, who are eager to send these weapons, promise they will not fall into the hands of our enemies. Do you believe that? Does anyone believe that? We have trouble telling friend from foe in Afghanistan. Syria is a thousand-fold more chaotic.”
As the Obama White House gets it’s wishes here at home, in the actual region, the President’s foreign policy decisions have been taking a lot of criticism. With news coming last week of Turkey saying no to arming the rebels through their borders and Russia mounting a massive 160,000 troop exercise mission to flex it’s muscles, now it was Israel’s turn to turn it’s intensity at the Obama Administration.
Sources inside the White House claim that Israeli offcials close to the situation involving the attack on the missile depot in Syria, were enraged at the news that the US had leaked that information to the press. Even in Israel itself, the government had silenced it’s own press for a time, concerned about a retaliatory strike by it’s unstable neighbor. The Washington Free Beacon had this to say on the story, “The Israelis argued in private meetings and other exchanges that the disclosures could lead to Syrian counterattacks against Israel and should have been coordinated first with the Israeli government.”
In Moscow, Russia today, as the news broke that Congress had given the green light to the Obama Administration to arm the Syrian rebels, the Kremlin reacted furiously. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said to a press meeting, “If our American partners are now focusing on arming the opposition and are sharing plans… to strike Syrian government positions, then this, of course, runs against agreements to hold a conference. That goes against our joint initiative.”
It seems to many in recent months that the Syrian conflict is becoming a proxy war between the US and Russia as both sides battle it out via funds, weapons and political rhetoric. Russia today also recommitted it’s arming of Assad and his army. “All agreements between Russia and Syria in the area of arms deliveries are in place. The contracts continue and are in force,” said Qadri Jamil, a senior politician from Syria, after a high level meeting with Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow. Israel, keeping a close eye on Syria and it’s big brother Russia, reminded both on Monday that it would immediately destroy any S300 shipments that could harm Israelis in their homeland, which would cause Russian casualties. That would surely set off an unstoppable chain of events that would change the world forever.
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