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article imageOp-Ed: US Senators call for military aid for Syrian rebels

By Katerina Nikolas     Aug 6, 2012 in World
Three prominent U.S. senators have called for the American government to openly provide direct military aid to Syrian rebels fighting to oust the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Senators John McCain, Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham penned a piece in the Washington Post, calling for direct U.S. military assistance for the Syrian rebels. Citing U.S. national security interests they call for support for the rebels, arguing it is necessary to prevent the use or transfer of the regime's chemical and and biological weapons, and to prevent al Qaeda securing a stronger foothold in the area.
Syrian rebels are already receiving the financial backing of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as Reuters reported. Moreover, Hillary Clinton has stated the U.S. government is providing "communications equipment that will help activists organize, evade attacks by the regime and connect to the outside world."
The United Nations is ignoring the fact that al Qaeda fighters are taking advantage of the Syria situation to strengthen their position in the region. This report quotes the New York Times: “Al Qaeda and other Islamic extremists are doing their best to hijack the Syrian revolution…The evidence is mounting that Syria has become a magnet for Sunni extremists, including those operating under the banner of Al Qaeda.”
The information is not new. Back in January Digital Journal reported a Wahhabi army was amassing on the Turkish-Syrian border comprising Islamic extremists including former al Qaeda operatives who had fought in Iraq. The army was forming under the leadership of Libyan Abdel Hakim Belhaj whom the CIA had linked to al Qaeda.
As the Washington Blog points out the U.S. support for the Syrian rebels puts them firmly on the same side as al Qaeda, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, so using the argument that the U.S. should provide military aid to stop al Qaeda gaining power in the area is rather contradictory.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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