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Obama Expands Military Support Of Militant Forces In Syria

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Obama Expands Military Support Of Militant Forces In Syria

Free Syrian Army fighters prepare a rocket launcher prior to firing it towards forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Izra’a in Deraa countryside May 21, 2015. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Faqir – RTX1DXSX

US President Barack Obama ordered a waiver for restrictions on military aid for militant forces in Syria, deeming it “essential to the national security interests” of the US to allow exceptions from provisions in the Arms Export Control Act.

The order includes responsibility to the US secretary of state to work with and report to Congress on weapons deliver proposals, requiring 15 days’ notice before they are authorized.

“I hereby determine that the transaction, encompassing the provision of defense articles and services to foreign forces, irregular forces, groups, or individuals engaged in supporting or facilitating ongoing U.S. military operations to counter terrorism in Syria, is essential to the national security interests of the United States,” RT qouted Obama.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that this decision is risky because delivered weapons might end up in the hands of “terrorists” (Reuters):

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call that such a scenario, if it came to pass, would pose a threat to the Middle East and to Russian forces in Syria.

Commenting on U.S-Russian efforts to strike a deal to facilitate the safe passage of Syrian rebels from eastern Aleppo, Peskov said the Kremlin hoped an agreement could be reached, but said talks on the subject were complex and kept faltering due to decisions taken by the United States.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov added that Washington’s decision will not likely impact the situation in Aleppo.

“Resupplying the Syrian opposition [with weapons] is a big risk, as in the majority of cases the weapons that the so-called ‘moderate’ Syrian opposition receive end up in the hands of the terrorists – ISIS or Al-Nusra Front,” the minister added.

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