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Friday, September 6, 2013

U.S. Aid Group Supplying Syrian Rebels Supports Military Strike

This citizen journalism image provided by Edlib News Network, ENN,  shows anti-Syrian regime protesters holding a banner and Syrian revolution flags during a demonstration at Kafr Nabil town in Idlib province, northern Syria, Friday. (AP/Edlib News Network ENN)

This citizen journalism image provided by Edlib News Network, ENN, shows anti-Syrian regime protesters holding a banner and Syrian revolution flags during a demonstration at Kafr Nabil town in Idlib province, northern Syria, Friday. (AP/Edlib News Network ENN)

As the Obama administration seeks to win support for military strikes on Syria, questions are being asked about who the U.S. can count on inside Syria and what the U.S. should do to help them.

Three months ago, the White House said small arms could be sent to moderate rebels in the Free Syrian Army. But those weapons haven’t arrived yet, in part because of concerns that weapons such as rocket-propelled grenades might fall into the hands of Al-Qaida sympathizers.

So for now, the U.S. is only providing the Free Syrian Army with non-lethal assistance, such as night vision goggles and military medical supplies.

That material is being sent to Syria by only one U.S.-based group: the pro-regime-change Syrian Support Group, which holds the only government license to funnel aid to the rebels and is located three blocks from the White House in Washington.

So far the Syrian Support Group has sent an estimated $10 million in U.S. government aid to the rebels.

Mazen Asbahi, the president of the Syrian Support Group, argues that Syria is not Iraq or Afghanistan, and that the U.S. needs to strike militarily against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“Most Americans need to understand that what you have in Syria is a genuine desire of the people of Syria to be  part of the modern world, of a democracy, with basic freedoms,” Asbahi told Here & Now. “This is a genuine revolution.”

Guest

  • Mazen Asbahi, president of the Syrian Support Group.

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