Obama administration officials are meeting this week to decide if its time for the U.S. to arm rebels in Syria with lethal weapons.
According to a Fox News report, part and parcel to this is a parallel question of whether “opposition forces can be trusted” once weaponized. In fact, this has been the sticking point for the administration throughout the Syrian conflict–they have wanted to arm the rebels but have feared seeing those weapons fall into the hands of “Al Qaeda-linked fighters or other extremists” fighting against Bashar al-Assad.
Because of this, the Free Syrian Army stands the best chance of receiving arms from the U.S. This military group claims “no political or religious agenda”–simply the overthrow of Assad.
Assad’s forces have recently received a boost from Hezbollah’s support of Syrian forces, and that is certainly pressuring the administration as they weigh whether to arm opposition forces now or to wait.
Best guesses appear to support the theory that the Obama administration is close to saying “yes” to weapons for small groups of opposition forces that are least likely to be Al Qaeda-linked.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins