Russia on Monday claimed there was increasing evidence that Syrian rebels were receiving large amounts of Western-made arms, implying the US and its European allies are helping to fuel the ongoing violence in Syria.
It has been well known that the US has been helping facilitate the delivery of weapons from Gulf Arab states to Syrian rebels groups. Most of the weapons those governments possess come from US manufactures and deals from Washington, so saying the arms are Western-made doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve come from directly from Washington.
But that seems to be a distinction without a difference. The Obama administration’s decision to send arms through obedient Arab clients was intended to create distance between the rebels’ violence and Washington.
A primary reason for this is that the rebels, as a United Nations investigation found last week, have committed war crimes along with the Syrian regime.
These policies have prolonged the conflict in Syria and expanded the opportunity for foreign fighters, many aligned with al-Qaeda to flood into Syria as Washington’s proxies.