Has the West and its allies “failed to seriously arm the revolution” in Syria?
by Ian Sinclair
5 February 2016
Here is my (unpublished) letter to the Guardian Review:
Robin Yassin-Kassab argues “The Syrian people’s supposed ‘friends’ failed to seriously arm the revolution” (Guardian Review, 23 January).
In reality, the Financial Times reported in 2013 that Qatar had given $3 billion to the Syrian insurgency, while the New York Times recently noted estimates put Saudi Arabia’s support for the rebels “at several billion dollars.” In addition, the CIA’s $1 billion programme has trained and equipped 10,000 rebel fighters, according to US officials cited by the Washington Post
Yassin-Kassab’s implicit support for more arms to the rebels will likely escalate the conflict. As Oxfam America noted in 2013, “Providing more weapons will mean prolonged fighting and more civilian deaths, more long-term damage to infrastructure and the economy, and greater poverty in Syria.”