CIA Oversees ‘Sharp’ Increase in Arms to Syrian Rebels

Cargo Planes Flock to Turkey With Arms for Rebels

Though the US is standing firm on not sending American weaponry directly to the Syrian rebels, the “facilitation” of arms to Syria from various Arab nations continues to be a top source of American intervention in the nation, with the CIA taking the lead.

The smuggling has been going on for nearly a year now, with the GCC nations, particularly Qatar and Saudi Arabia, leading the way in sending arms to Turkey, where the CIA sees to it they find their way to the border crossings.

The latest reports are that weapons flights have “sharply increased” in the past few months, with more and more military cargo flights coming from across the region, chock full of advanced weaponry.

Croatian arms makers are also a central part of the campaign, with arms makers cashing in on a huge influx in Saudi funding to produce new weapons for the rebels, something which was a key part of the Croatian decision to withdraw troops from the UN operation on the Syria-Israel frontier.

The US involvement in smuggling weaponry to the increasingly sectarian civil war is liable to strain their relations with border nations, particularly Iraq which is seeing a surge in attacks from al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), which is closely affiliated with Syria’s rebels and likely enjoying spillover perks from the arms smuggling operation next door.

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.