US Okays Non-Profit for Arming Syrian Rebels

The rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) has scored a major win, as more details emerged of a recent Obama Administration decision to license a non-profit organization explicitly to fundraise for the FSA . Turns out that it goes beyond logistics and allows them to buy them weaponry.

The “Syrian Support Group” has been one of the key solicitors for pro-rebel lobbies, seeking to push the Obama Administration into invading Syria and installing the rebels as the new government. The group says many prospective donors had been worried about their plan to start buying weapons directly for the rebels, but that the Treasury Department’s license to do so would convince them it was not illegal.

A top lobbyist for the group, former NATO official Brian Sayers, says that the group has “vetted” several portions of the FSA which would be recipients of the weapons, and the group is still looking into the legal question of what happens if the arms end up in the hands of the various al-Qaeda style militant groups that are fighting alongside the FSA.

Traditionally, foreign non-profits are designed for providing education or humanitarian aid in other countries. The decision to expand this to include weapons for administration-favored rebel factions is sure to be controversial, which is likely a big part of why the decision, along with several others aimed at “aiding” the rebels, have been done in a secretive manner.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.