As we noted yesterday, President Obama is saying he is contemplating arming and training Syrian rebels (just the 'moderates' which will be identified by their smiles). However, as the following PBS Frontline documentary exposes, the Syrian rebels themselves say they are already armed and trained by US in the use of sophisticated weapons and fighting techniques, including, one rebel said, "how to finish off soldiers still alive after an ambush." The interviews are the latest evidence that after more than three years of warfare, the United States has stepped up the provision of lethal aid to the rebels, as PBS notes "it appears the Obama administration is allowing select groups of rebels to receive US-made anti-tank missiles." So who is lying? Obama (again) or the Syrian rebels (who show US-made supplies in the following clips).
The whole interview is noteworthy and damning for the administration but the good stuff starts around 8:00
The documentary, produced by FRONTLINE for airing on PBS stations, features journalist Muhammad Ali, who has been following the Syrian civil war for the program. It shows Ali meeting up with a seemingly moderate faction of the rebels, though the faction itself is not identified — apparently for fear of angering its American contacts.
Ali is shown riding with a rebel supply officer as he traveled to the Turkish border to reportedly pick up American-supplied Russian weapons and ammunition, but he is not allowed to accompany the fighters to the actual meeting.
The commander of the unit also told Ali that their American contacts had asked him to bring 80 to 90 members of his unit to Ankara for training.
One of the fighters said they received three weeks of training in how to conduct ambushes, conduct raids and use their weapons. They also said they received new uniforms and boots.
“They trained us to ambush regime or enemy vehicles and cut off the road,” said the fighter, who is identified only as “Hussein.” “They also trained us on how to attack a vehicle, raid it, retrieve information or weapons and munitions, and how to finish off soldiers still alive after an ambush.”
The United States has refused to confirm its growing efforts to help the fighters. Neither the Pentagon nor the CIA would comment on Frontline’s findings.
For the United States, publicly embracing such an effort presents many challenges, chief among them widespread opposition among U.S. voters for more direct U.S. involvement in the Syrian conflict.
Perhaps because of those reasons, Congress has never publicly signed off on funding for a training and arming effort, and officially, the United States only provides non-lethal aid, like food rations, clothing and first aid supplies.
Of course, we are sure anyone from the government looking into this will be shocked and not have a clue how it could have happened... who is responsible for the decision... and who is funding it... once again we ask... who is lying?