IED Use by Syrian Rebels Soars

Iraqi Sunnis Oppose Arming Rebel Fighters

by Jason Ditz, March 04, 2012

In the clearest sign yet that the Syrian Civil War is threatening to transform into an Iraq-style insurgency, Pentagon officials say that their data shows a dramatic increase in IED attacks by rebel forces.

The Pentagon’s report says the number of IED attacks is up 134% from December to January, though they insisted that the exact number of attacks is, for some inscrutable reason, classified.

The huge jump is something of a surprise, though it may just be the tip of the iceberg as a number of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) fighters have been pouring into Syria over the past few weeks, and IEDs have long been a weapon of choice for them.

While AQI has been eager to establish itself as a force in the internationally-backed Syrian rebel forces, many Iraqi Sunnis are opposed to sending arms to the rebels, saying they fear that doing so will just escalate the violence further and not lead to a resolution of the situation.

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