Can’t Obama leave NOW, not wait another month? Dangerous order on arms for terrorists in Syria! (Video)
Can’t Obama leave NOW, not wait another month? Dangerous order on arms for terrorists in Syria! Video
President Barack Obama has issued a waiver lifting restrictions on military aid sent by foreign forces in Syria, deeming it “essential to the national security interests” of the US. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has expressed concern that any weapons could end up in the hands of terrorists. Former diplomat Jim Jatras discusses President Obama’s decision to continue to arming foreign fighters in Syria.
A White House press release Thursday announced that foreign fighters in Syria supporting US special operations “to combat terrorism in Syria” would be excused from restrictions on military assistance.
“I hereby determine that the transaction, encompassing the provision of defense articles and services to foreign forces, irregular forces, groups, or individuals engaged in supporting or facilitating ongoing U.S. military operations to counter terrorism in Syria, is essential to the national security interests of the United States,” President Obama affirmed in the presidential determination and waiver.
The order delegates responsibility to the US secretary of state to work with and report to Congress on weapons export proposals, requiring 15 days’ notice before they are authorized.
Obama announced a similar waiver of the Arms Export Control Act in September 2013, following the Ghouta chemical attack in August of that year. That order facilitated the transfer of US military weaponry to “select vetted members” of opposition forces battling Syrian President Bashar Assad, while Thursday’s order appears less narrow in scope.
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Last year, Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2016, which allocated nearly $500 million to arm and train “moderate rebels” in Syria, despite a failed Pentagon program abandoned earlier in 2015.
The challenge of differentiating between terrorist forces, such as Al-Nusra Front, and more moderate forces in Syria, has been acknowledged by press secretaries in recent State Department briefings.
The “counterterrorism” pretext is just a “convenient misappropriation of language,” aimed at arming various militants to battle the Syrian Army and its allies, believes geopolitical analyst Patrick Henningsen.