Rand Paul Introduces Bill to Obstruct U.S. Aid to Syrian Rebels

In light of recent reports concerning a bill introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) that would hinder President Barack Obama’s efforts to provide weaponry to rebel armies in Syria, Syrian government officials told reporters that America’s support would do little to help put an end to the country’s three-year civil war.

The bill would keep the United States Department of Defense or the Central Intelligence Agency from supporting any military or paramilitary campaign in Syria. According to Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), “any military involvement in Syria, including the arming of Syrian rebels, needs to be authorized through Congress, where concerns can be publicly debated and the American people can have a say.” Sens. Lee, Tom Udall (D-NM), and Chris Murphy (D-CT) are also co-sponsoring the bill.

President Obama’s decision to put arms in the hands of Syrian rebels could prolong the war and encourage terrorism, according to the Syrian Foreign Minister. The CIA was ordered earlier this month to station several distribution points across Turkey and Jordan. Arms would be distributed with the help of Americans stationed in the neighboring countries in order to offer support to the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which is the most organized rebel faction in the country fighting against the government’s forces. The U.S. has already provided Jordan with 700 American troops, a F-16 fighter unit, and a battery of Patriot anti-ballistic missile systems, all furnished by the Pentagon under a military exercise completed by both U.S. and Jordanian troops.

One of the Free Syrian Army’s top commanders has declined making any comments regarding the weaponry the rebel forces obtained recently, stating only that he’s grateful to the “brothers and the friends whom I don’t want to name.”

Bashar al-Assad has recently asserted the international community he will be attending to the upcoming Geneva talks but does not show any signs of backing down from the civil war that has already claimed the lives of nearly 93,000 people. This worries the Obama administration, which has issued statements concerning Assad’s use of chemical weapons against the rebel forces.

While many seem to side with President Obama and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on this issue, Sen. Murphy warns Americans that military intervention is a matter that should not be taken lightly. According to the Democrat from Connecticut, he’s deeply skeptical “about plans for military intervention in Syria, given the dangerously fractured state of the opposition, and the very real risk of American weapons and money falling into the hands of the same terrorist organizations we’re already fighting around the world.”

Could it be that if this continues, we will be forcing our way into another conflict just to strengthen terrorist forces and create a much worse situation for the citizens of a country already torn by war?

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