The Conversation

Meet the New Lobbyists: Syrian Rebels

As civil war in Syria continues, a new battle has begun:  the battle for American tax dollars. 

Brian Sayers is a former Nato political officer lobbying in the corridors of Washington on behalf of Syrian rebels fighting the regime of Bashar Al Assad, the country's president.

Not all "rebels" are eligible for the fruit$ of these lobbying labors: 

Consequently, only a select group of fighters qualify to receive funds from the Syrian Support Group (SSG), the organisation where Mr Sayers works and the only group licensed by US authorities to fund the rebels.

As in the case of Egypt, only "those rebel groups it [Washington D.C.] is convinced are committed to a secular, democratic Syria" will be getting support. 

For those concerned about where the money is coming from and going to:

All the money that the SSG sends to Syria is currently from private donations, though Mr Sayers refused to specify the amount. Most of the funds are earmarked for rebels' salaries, and none of it is to be used to buy weapons. But verifying the money trail is difficult.

What could go wrong? 


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