Passing Info to Syrian Rebels: Report
- The US Central Intelligence Agency has been feeding
information to select rebel fighters in Syria to try to make
them more effective against government troops, The Wall Street
Journal reported Saturday.
Citing unnamed current and former US officials,
the newspaper said the new CIA effort reflected a change in
the administration's approach that aims to strengthen secular
The CIA has sent officers to Turkey to help vet rebels who
receive arms shipments from Gulf allies, the report said.
But administration officials cited concerns about some weapons
going to Islamists, the paper noted.
In Iraq, the CIA has been directed by the White House to work
with elite counterterrorism units to help the Iraqis counter the
flow of al Qaeda-linked fighters across the border with Syria,
Syrian opposition commanders said the CIA had been working with
British, French and Jordanian intelligence services to train
rebels in the use of various kinds of weapons, the paper said.
The move comes as the Nusra Front, the main al-Qaeda-linked
group operating in Syria, is deepening its ties to the
organization's central leadership in Pakistan, The Journal said.
The new aid to rebels doesn't change the US decision against
taking direct military action, the paper added.
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