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.