EU Rejects British, French Calls to Arm Syria Rebels

Germany, Sweden Lead Opposition to Move

European Union officials have put the kibosh on British-led attempts to end an embargo on arming Syria’s rebels, with Germany and Sweden leading the way in stopping the move.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed concern that adding large quantities of European weapons to the civil war would “fan the flames” of what is already a bloody sectarian battle, and said that just because two nations (France and Britain) have decided they want to doesn’t mean the rest of the union was going to roll over and allow the shift.

French officials have argued that adding arms to the Syrian rebels would mean an almost immediate victory for the insurgency, even though they have already been receiving large amounts of arms from Gulf nations, and remain stalemated.

Britain has insisted it is already determined to arm Syria’s rebels, with Prime Minister David Cameron saying that they would do so either be convincing the EU to scrap the alliance-wide embargo or, failing that, simply ignore it and arm them anyhow.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.