WASHINGTON, (SANA)- The Associated Press (AP) revealed that the Barack Obama administration is preparing a plan that essentially "would give U.S. nods of approval to arms transfers from Arab nations to some Syrian opposition fighters."
"The plan," said U.S. official to the AP, "would vet members of the Free Syrian Army and other groups to determine whether they are suitable recipients of munitions to fight the Assad government and to ensure that weapons don't wind up in the hands of al-Qaeda-linked terrorists or other extremist groups, such as Hezbollah, that could target Israel."
The AP said that this plan, which has not yet been finalized, "reflects U.S. frustration that none of the previous efforts — including diplomatic rhetoric from the United Nations and the multinational Friends of Syria group, and special envoy Kofi Annan’s plan for a cease-fire — has even begun to nudge President Bashar al-Assad from power."
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, stressed in statement to the AP that the United States has already providing nonlethal aid to the armed groups in Syria but not military assistance.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said "Our decision is to support the civilian opposition in nonlethal ways," noting that there are other countries who have made other decisions. "That’s their sovereign decision to make. We've made our decision," she added.
The AP said that U.S officials privately stress that, in light of the conditions which continue to deteriorate, "it would be irresponsible not to weigh in with Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates and with others such as Turkey that have indicated interest in arming the rebels."
The AP cited some accounts that those nations have already begun to ship weapons to Syria with tacit U.S. agreement, while in Turkey, private businessmen have begun funneling weapons into Syria, and the Military Council in Libya has pledged support for the Syrian armed groups.
It reveled that these groups have cast a wide net, contacting weapons dealers in Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia and Azerbaijan.
The AP cited a senior intelligence official as saying that al Qaeda has established a limited operational capability in Syria and is responsible for several attacks which happened in the country. The official added that the goal is to "sow further chaos".