Congress secretly OKs US arms flow to Syria militants


Lawmakers in the US Congress have secretly approved the provision of US arms to militants fighting against the Syrian government.

US lawmakers voted behind closed doors in order to fund the arms deliveries through the end of the 2014 fiscal year, which ends on September 30, Reuters reported.

Reuters’ report, which was based on information provided by US and European security officials, also said that most of the US weapons are being delivered to foreign-backed militants in the south of Syria via Jordan.

The news comes as negotiations for a peaceful solution to the nearly three-year-old Syrian conflict are due to resume in Geneva, Switzerland, after Monday’s talks between representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition hit a deadlock over the issue of transfer of power.

Funding for arms deliveries to militants in Syria was approved by US Congress in the classified sections of defense appropriation legislation. It is not clear when lawmakers voted for the funding, though they passed unclassified defense funding in late December.

On Monday, US officials also said that Washington would resume providing “non-lethal” aid to “opposition groups” in Syria after the seizure of warehouses by their rival groups, al-Qaeda-linked insurgents, prompted a sudden cutoff of Western supplies.[More]