A plan by the US and its regional partners to supply more-powerful weapons to so-called moderate militants in Syria fighting the government is a significant shift in US policy and a violation of a ceasefire agreement, an American analyst says.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and its regional partners have drawn up plans to supply more-powerful weapons to militants fighting the Syrian government in the event the country’s six-week-old truce collapses, according to US and other officials.
US officials said the so-called Plan B is aimed at providing vetted “moderate” militant units with weapons system that would enable them to launch attacks against Syrian government aircraft and artillery positions, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
Syria is currently observing a ceasefire brokered by Russia and the United States, which entered into force on February 27.
The truce was reached between the Syrian government and dozens of militant groups operating in the country. The ceasefire does not apply to Daesh and al-Nusra Front terrorist groups.
“The report in the Wall Street Journal that the United States’s so-called Plan B for the Syrian conflict includes sending heavy weapons to arm terrorist organizations that are fighting to topple the Assad government, the legitimate government of Syria during the past five years of war would represent a potentially significant shift in US policy,” said Brian Becker, the national coordinator for the ANSWER Coalition, a US-based protest umbrella group consisting of many antiwar and civil rights organizations.
Such a move by Washington to arm militants would also “represent a negation of the Geneva peace process and the earlier commitments by the United States government to abandon its old policy, which has led to such a catastrophe for the people of Syria,” Becker told Press TV on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia, Turkey and some other regional allies of the West who have been actively seeking the overthrow of the Syrian government are widely believed to be sponsoring militant groups, including Daesh, wreaking havoc in the war-ravaged Arab country.
The country has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. According to the SOHR, at least 270,000 people have been killed in the conflict. Some reports, however, put the death toll at as high as 470,000.