EU Likely to Begin Arming Syrian Rebels by Summer

'Breakthrough' on Policy to Scrap EU Arms Embargo

The European Union’s arms embargo, which has prevented member nations from directly arming Syrian rebels, could be set to fall in the coming months, according to a Syrian rebel spokesman in Britain, who claimed a “breakthrough” in talks.

The latest round of EU talks on the matter, which saw Britain pushing hard for an abandonment of the embargo outright, saw a relaxation of the wording. In essence, nations can now send virtually anything but guns as “non-lethal aid.

The next round of Friends of Syria talks, expected by early summer, are expected to scrap the embargo outright, with Britain and several other nations expected to start funneling arms directly into Syria.

That won’t sit well with Russia, which already complained about the US announcement of a $60 million package of aid that didn’t include weapons or ammunition. Russian officials have expressed concern that the aid and promises of more to come are discouraging the rebels from negotiating a settlement, and is keeping the war going.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.