US officials have confirmed they are suspending all direct aid to Syrian rebels in the nation’s north, including both weapons and non-lethal aid, citing the growing Islamist control over the area.
The move to suspend the shipments has been expected for some time, after a late November shipment to a Free Syrian Army (FSA) warehouse ended with al-Qaeda seizing the entire shipment, the warehouse, and several members of the FSA.
The warehouse was a key stop on the supply line through Turkey into Syria’s northwest, and with al-Qaeda taking more and more border towns, sending goods through them virtually guarantees the Islamists will take some or all of it.
Officials say it is “too early to say” if the halt will be permanent, and that it won’t impact humanitarian aid, which is delivered by international NGOs.
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