Most of the arms funneled to Syrian rebels reportedly end up in the hands of hardline Islamist extremists, including those affiliated with Al-Qaeda. There is no way of vetting rebel groups to bolster only those with more secular views.
The Syrian armed opposition is supplied with small arms from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, while their other foreign allies like the US provide logistical help for the transactions. However according to classified US assessments of the conflict, most of the weapons go to jihadists rather than to secular-minded groups, which the West wants to take power in the country, reports The New York Times.
“The opposition groups that are receiving the most of the lethal aid are exactly the ones we don’t want to have it,” an American official familiar with the outlines of those findings told the newspaper.
The reports suggest that the more plentiful shipments orchestrated by Qatar are particularly likely to go to hardline Islamists.
The situation may be favorable for short-term goals of toppling the government of Bashar al-Assad, but if and when this happens, the better-armed extremist groups are likely to fill in the power vacuum, American officials worry. This may mean an Islamist Syria hostile to the US in the future.
Some unconfirmed reports indicate that jihadist fighters are actually caching weapons for the post-Assad struggle for control over the country rather than use it against governmental troops now.
Source and full story: Russia Today, 16 Oct 2012