Tags: syria | rebels | iran | obama

WSJ: Obama’s Refusal to Arm Syrian Rebels a Victory for Iran

Monday, 11 Feb 2013 10:56 AM

By Dan Weil

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President Barack Obama committed a grave error in his decision last year against providing Syrian rebels with arms, according to a Wall Street Journal editorial.

“U.S. military action other than drone warfare isn't in favor these days, but Syria is showing how doing nothing has costs of its own,” says the editorial.

“In overruling his advisers [who favored granting arms], Mr. Obama has prolonged Syria's civil war, increased regional instability, and delivered a strategic gift to Iran, the main enemy of Israel and the U.S.”

The White House says the risk was that the weapons would fall into the wrong hands.

“But if the rebels are flush with weapons, aren't those weapons already in danger of falling into the wrong hands?” the editorial states.

“One point of U.S. military aid is to have some influence on rebel behavior, while increasing the clout of more moderate factions. By doing nothing, Mr. Obama has guaranteed that the rebels will be supplied by Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and the Saudis who don't mind arming Sunni Salafists.”

As for Iran, Syria’s main ally in the region, it stands to gain as chaos reigns in the Middle East.

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