Saturday, June 28, 2014

Obama's Multimillion Aid to Syrian Rebels Might Fall into Terrorists Hands

Obama's Multimillion Aid to Syrian Rebels Might Fall into Terrorists Hands

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $500 million in aid to give to moderate Syrian rebels. The White House says the money would go toward stabilizing areas under opposition control, facilitate the provision of essential services and promote conditions for a negotiated settlement.

Claude Salhani, senior editor of Trend News Agency in Azerbaijan, asks, "Who are the good guys, who are the bad guys?" How the U.S. will differentiate between extremists and moderates will be a hefty task. "The U.S. is going to have put together some fancy tricks to try and figure out who these moderates are, and how do we go about arming them and training them and supplying them. It's not an easy answer."

President Obama answers questions about Syrian rebel aid
President Obama answers questions about Syrian rebel aid
After initialing voicing support for the Syrian opposition, the U.S. was criticized by Russia for picking sides in the civil war. Moreover, Russia said the U.S. was supporting terrorist rebels who were creating more chaos inside Syria. So why has Obama decided to throw half a billion dollars to the rebels?

"He's finally realized the danger of letting things go, spin out of control, as they are at the moment, and allowing a group such as ISIS reaching the proportions of power and financial power and political power that it has today," says Salhani.

Iraq is gripped with turmoil after weeks of successful offensive fronts by ISIS. Salhani says the U.S.'s inaction in Syria has contributed to the growing power of ISIS.

Reaching a political solution in Syria has been a difficult process, largely due to political differences between Russia and the U.S. Salhani says Russia is mostly interested in keeping the ports near Syria open to their Mediterranean fleet. "If the government of the United States was astute and smart enough, they'd strike a deal with Moscow, guarantee them they would still have use of these ports, and the civil war could be ended much, much sooner," he says.

That solution doesn't seem likely, but Obama's proposal to give Syrian rebels $500 million isn't much better either, says Salhani. It will be too difficult to make sure the money isn't falling into the "wrong" hands.


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