Did the Syrian Islamic Front Capture US Arms?

by Dec 19, 2013Foreign Policy0 comments

Last week, the New York Times reported that the U.S. was temporarily suspending "nonlethal" aid to the rebels after the Syrian Islamic Front coalition of jihadist groups raided warehouses where U.S.-supplied materials intended for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) were being stored. But the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat provides a different story...

Last week, the New York Times reported that the U.S. was temporarily suspending “nonlethal” aid to the rebels after the Syrian Islamic Front coalition of jihadist groups raided warehouses where U.S.-supplied materials intended for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) were being stored. According to the Times, the U.S.-supplied aid included food, computers, and vehicles. It notes that the CIA is also directly arming and training the rebels, but suggests that the aid taken by the Islamic Front was all of the “nonlethal” category supplied by the State Department. The Washington Post similarly characterized the incident, describing the contents of the warehouse as “relatively meager”.

But the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat provides a different story (h/t Moon of Alabama). A senior FSA official told the paper that ten warehouses were raided and that the items taken by the Islamic Front included 2,000 AK-47 assault rifles and 1,000 other arms, M79 Osa rocket launchers, rocket propelled grenades, 14.5mm heavy machine guns, 200 tons of ammunition, and 100 military vehicles.

It could be that the items taken that were U.S.-supplied were just as the Times and Post described. It could also be that the Islamic Front actually just got their hands on U.S.-provided “lethal” aid. It should be kept in mind that U.S. mainstream media has consistently attempted to conceal from readers the fact that before the CIA began directly arming the rebels, it was coordinating the flow of arms to them from regional partners Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and that most of those arms ended up in the hands of the Islamic extremists, whose ranks include the al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front.

The Times did originally report that information, but it was quickly tossed down the memory hole and replaced with a propaganda narrative about how the supposed lack of U.S. intervention was the problem and thus even more intervention obviously the solution.

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See also:

The Propaganda Narrative to Manufacture Consent for U.S. Arms to Syrian Rebels

US Intervention in Syria ‘Could’ Strengthen Islamic Extremists? ‘Could’?

NYT Continues to Downplay How CIA-Funneled Arms to Syrian Rebels Helped Strengthen Jihadists

NYT’s Bill Keller’s Propaganda Case for War with Syria

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About Jeremy R. Hammond

About Jeremy R. Hammond

I am an independent journalist, political analyst, publisher and editor of Foreign Policy Journal, book author, and writing coach.

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