US Opposed to Saudi Shipments of Anti-Aircraft Missiles to Syria Rebels

Saudis Had Previously Held Back Shipments

An unnamed US official has come out today and confirmed that the Obama Administration remains opposed to Saudi shipments of anti-aircraft missiles to Syrian rebels, though indications are that much shipments are set to begin.

Saudi officials confirmed last week that they were planning to begin shipments of Chinese shoulder-mounted MANPADs to “tip the balance” of the ongoing civil war.

The big concern is that even the “moderate” rebel factions have said they intend to attack civilian aircraft when they get such weapons, believing any plane in Syrian airspace is a “legitimate target.

It isn’t clear how deep the US “opposition” goes anymore, however, as while the Saudis had previously held back the shipments at the behest of the US, the official statements from the US don’t seem to be slowing them this time around.

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.