The United States is reportedly planning to send sophisticated weapons to foreign-sponsored militants fighting the Syrian government.
Washington has already admitted to providing logistical and communication assistance to militants in Syria, but now there reports of a covert US plan to practically arm them.
The recent reports said a wide range of modern weapons would be sent to Syria through Washington’s regional allies, such as Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.
According to diplomatic sources, Americans have bought some of the weapons, including Russian-made Strela 2 missiles, from the stockpiles of slain Libyan dictator Muammar Ghaddafi. Strela 2 or SA-7 is a man-portable, shoulder-fired, low-altitude surface-to-air missile system.
The Syrian government has repeatedly criticized the US and its regional allies, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey, for funding and arming anti-Damascus militants.
The US has already provided some USD 25 million to armed groups in Syria, calling it non-lethal aid to help them purchase communications devices.
Syria has been the scene of unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of security forces, have lost their lives in the violence.
Syria says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants fighting the Syrian government are foreign nationals.
Western states have been calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s removal from power. However, Russia and China are strongly opposed to the Western drive to oust the Syrian head of state.