United States sends aid to anti-Assad rebels

Posted By Horizon Staff March 5th, 2013 in News : 0 COMMENTS

Joshua Straschewski
Staff Writer

The United States has recently sent non-lethal aid to the Syrian anti-Assad coalition, the Free Syrian Army, to help in their fight against President Bashar al-Assad. The $60 million in aid consisted of medical supplies and Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), for both refugees and coalition soldiers.

Secretary of State John Kerry made it clear that the United States would not send weapons of any kind as a form of aid, partly out of fear that the Assad Military would potential gain access to weapons sent as aid and turn them against the United States and its allies. The reluctance of the United States to send any kind of lethal support has frustrated some anti-Assad coalition officials, due in part because Assad’s military has been bombarding civilian populated areas with ballistic missiles, reported the Jerusalem Post.

Walid al-Bunni, a spokesman for the anti-Assad coalition, voiced his frustration, stating, “It is obvious that the real support is absent, reports the LA Times. This assessment has been supported by the Human Rights Watch, which has reported that “at least 171 civilians [were] killed in four Scud missile strikes last week,” reported the Jerusalem Post.

Besides the obvious battle against al-Assad, there is another unsettling aspect of this Syrian civil war that requires U.S. attention: the rise of a new extremist group, much like Al Qaeda, called Nusra Front. In times of unrest and hysteria it is very easy for an extremist group such as Nusra Front to gain footing and support, especially if they give lethal aid to the anti-Assad coalition.

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has reportedly spearheaded a covert program to train rebel fighters, as one method of “nonlethal” aid.  Besides the $60 million sent to the Free Syrian Army, the United States has also provided approximately $365 million in humanitarian aid for Syrain refugees, reported BBC News.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the situation in Syria continues to destroy the region, and a senior United Nations official told the U.N. Security Council that “the total number of refugees will likely pass 1 million in less than a month.” The civil war has forced Syrians to leave their homes and relocate themselves to safer living conditions.

In coalition-controlled sectors of Syria, part of the non-lethal aid is also going to efforts to establish some form of democratic government. Sanitation and education are being provided for those civilians who refuse to be refugees and are taking their chances by living in a region crumbling under wartime conditions, reported BBC News.

Comments are closed.

The Horizon's Facebook The Horizon's Twitter RSS Feed