US Confirms ‘Support’ as Syrian Rebels Show US Missiles in Videos

Anti-Tank Weapons, But Not Anti-Aircraft Missiles Being Supplied

Though the details of how they are being smuggled into Syria remain somewhat unclear, Syrian rebels have released yet more videos showing themselves in possession of US-made anti-tank missiles, and US officials are privately confirming that they are part of the US “backing” of rebellion.

Officials quoted by Reuters say that the decision was made to give the go-ahead to Saudi proposals to provide the rebels with the anti-tank BGM-71 TOW missiles, but that a similar proposal to supply surface-to-air missiles was rejected.

The National Security Council would not touch of the details, but said the US remains committed to the “moderate opposition” in Syria’s ongoing civil war, and would continue to provide “assistance to vetted members” of the rebellion.

The rebels had previously been using HJ-8 anti-tank missiles, a Chinese guided missile of similar design. The switch to US missiles is unlikely to be a dramatic shift in power for the rebels, though it is a significant shift in the US arming of rebels.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.