Report: Jihadists Receiving Arms Meant for Syrian Rebels

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 15 2012 1:35 PM

Report: Jihadists Are Getting the Bulk of Weapons Meant for Syrian Rebels

153849134
A Syrian rebel commander prays inside a damaged mosque during clashes with government force in Aleppo on Oct. 9

Photo by Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/GettyImages.

U.S. involvement in Syria's increasingly messy conflict just got messier.

A classified report uncovered by the New York Times reveals that many of the weapons sent to arm Syrian rebels in their fight to overthrow the Assad regime are ending up in the hands of hardline Islamic Jihadists.

Advertisement

The NYT with the analysis:

"That conclusion, of which President Obama and other senior officials are aware from classified assessments of the Syrian conflict that has now claimed more than 25,000 lives, casts into doubt whether the White House’s strategy of minimal and indirect intervention in the Syrian conflict is accomplishing its intended purpose of helping a democratic-minded opposition topple an oppressive government, or is instead sowing the seeds of future insurgencies hostile to the United States."

Although the U.S. does not send arms directly to Syrian rebels, it provides intelligence and support for shipments of rifles and grenades mainly orchestrated by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. American officials have been trying to understand why hard-line Islamists have received such a large share of the arms shipped to the Syrian opposition. "The opposition groups that are receiving the most of the lethal aid are exactly the ones we don’t want to have it," said one unidentified American official.

Part of the problem is the lack of organization and accountability in the underground weapons transfers, according to the report. There is no central clearinghouse for the shipments, and no effective way of vetting the groups that ultimately receive them. The report underscores serious concerns that not only could the weapons bolster anti-American insurgent groups, but these extremist groups could dominate a future Syrian government should President Bashar al-Assad be removed. "The longer this goes on, the more likely those groups will gain strength," a Middle East diplomat told the Times.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.