Obama asks for 500 million to equip Syrian rebels

Sunday, June 29th, 2014 9:44:35 by

The White House has asked Congress to authorize financial assistance of $ 500 million to “train and equip ” Syrian rebels against military operation. The request comes at a time when the United States is re-engaging¬† militarily in Iraq against advancing insurgents of Islamic State of Iraq and the Syria (ISIS), a militants group also present in Syria.

The military assistance, which is part of the Global Fund 5,000 million combating terrorism announced in late May by the U.S. president, Barack Obama- would be the most significant official support from Washington to moderate Syrian opposition in more than three years of civil war in the Arab country, which has claimed more than 150,000 lives.

The aid would be in addition to secret CIA program of rebels training in Jordan and Syria. Last year the State Department opposed “nonlethal” assistance such as bulletproof vests, night vision goggles and sophisticated communications equipment. Now the Obama Administration, accused of passivity in the Syria, goes one step further.

Congress must approve the proposal, which includes another package 1000 million against terrorism aid to Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq. Washington seeks to help the opposition to ” defend themselves ” against the attacks of the regime of Bashar al-Assad, to reverse the growing number of extremist groups in the country, as ISIL, and promote security and stability at the local level, according to a statement from the White House.

The fear of Obama is that militant groups consolidate their presence in the Syrian arsenal and neighboring Iraq, also sunk an open north and west conflict. The president authorized last week to deploy to Iraq for up to 300 military advisers to help the army of that country to the advancement of ISIS militants, and added to the 275 soldiers deployed to protect the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

The White House said in a statement the details of military assistance – for example, weapons, long-range missiles will be provided as required to the opposition, or more modest – Machines and equipment but emphasized that only fall on ” approved items ” on Syrian opposition. U.S. wants to prevent the strategy is counterproductive and aid falling into the wrong hands.

“These funds will help to defend the Syrian people, stabilize areas under opposition control, facilitate the provision of essential services, counter terrorist threats, and promote the conditions for a negotiated settlement,” the statement said.

Despite the ambiguity about the depth of the support, the fact that the administration supports that seeks to ” stabilize” the control of certain areas of Syria in the hands of the opposition suggests that it would be a significant military equipment. But Obama, as he reiterated the statement, no plans to deploy troops in Syria or make selective air strikes, as they were discarded at the last minute in September 2013 to change the output of chemical weapons regime. “We still believe that there is no military solution to this crisis,” he stresses.

After years of hesitation in the response to the Syrian crisis, the risk is that military aid from Washington to moderate opponents and just come too late to influence the development of the conflict. The proposal announced Thursday – more help to reach moderate rebels without U.S. intervention – is part of the doctrine, reluctant military and pro adventures multi-lateralism, by Obama in late May in a speech at the Military Academy West Point. The conflict in Iraq is throwing him uneasy allies to Washington: The Syrian army is bombarding ISIS positions on the border with his country and Iran tries to stem the militants advance through use of drones, according to official sources cited in the U.S. media.

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