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U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebels Surrender Arms to Al Qaeda

The Long War Journal reports that “US-backed rebels in the so-called ‘New Syrian Forces’ (NSF) have turned over at least some of their equipment and ammunition to a ‘suspected’ intermediary for Al Nusrah Front, US Central Command (CENTCOM) conceded in a statement.”  

“The admission further jeopardizes the unit’s ability to receive American arms in the future. Rebels belonging to Division 30, a group supported by the US, suffered losses immediately upon entering the Syrian fray earlier this year. More than 50 members of Division 30 were sent into Syria in July. But Al Nusrah quickly thwarted their plans, even though the US-backed rebels intended to fight the Islamic State, Al Nusrah’s bitter rival.”  

“Al Nusrah Front has consistently resisted the West’s meager attempts to build a reliable opposition force. Late last year, al Qaeda’s branch pushed the Syrian Revolutionaries Front (SRF), which had reportedly received some support from the West, out of its strongholds in the Idlib province… Recent events demonstrate that the US is consistently underestimating al Qaeda’s presence and capabilities in Syria, and does not have a true strategy for the multi-sided conflict.”

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