Obama administration floats PR campaign for weapons sent years ago.
Time reported Monday officials at the White House are seriously considering sending manpads – man-portable air defense systems – to terrorist mercenary groups operating in Syria. Discussion is reportedly underway, but “strong doubts remain about the wisdom of providing missiles to the rebels.”
Syrian mercenaries use Manpad in July, 2013.
Earlier this month, we reported the United States delivered its sophisticated BGM-71 TOW anti-tank weapon to “moderate” mercenary forces in Syria.
Islamists in Syria, aka al-Qaeda and its al-Nusra affiliate, now dominate the proxy war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “The moderates, often underfunded, fragmented and chaotic, appear no match for Islamist units, which include fighters from organizations designated ‘terrorist’ by the United States,” Reuters reported last June.
In late March, Obama floated the idea of sending the advanced anti-aircraft system. He also reassured the Saudis, who are the primary benefactors of the mercenaries attempting to overthrow the Syrian government, the United States has not abandoned the effort to arm al-Qaeda and other fanatical Islamic groups.
“The introduction of manpads could be a game-changer in Syria, like it was in Afghanistan in the 1980s with Stinger missiles,” an Arab official told Time.