Will the U.S. be giving support to the Syrian rebels in their fight to overthrow Bashar Al Assad? Apparently no help from the United States will happen until after the coming November elections.
Tom Donilon, the White House National Security Adviser, has made it "abundantly clear" that the Obama administration will hold off with any support until after the elections in November, according to sources close to Donilon.
According to the Telegraph, the Syrian Support Group which is a wing of the Free Syrian Army, has requested from the United States "1,000 RPG-29 anti-tank missiles, 500 SAM-7 rockets, 750 23mm machine guns as well as body armour and secure satellite phones. They also asked for $6m to pay rebel fighters as they battle the regime. All their requests were rejected."
The odd thing about the recent announcement to wait, made by the White House is the fact that there are new unconfirmed "reports" of chemical weapons being transported and stored by the Assad Regime.
The fact that the U.S. is not ready to openly supply and support the rebel forces certainly shows that the reports of WMDs in Syria are either untrue, or at least unconfirmed by the U.S. and therefore urgency is not on the table.
The unconfirmed report was given by a high ranking Syrian defector Nawaf Fares, former Syrian Ambassador to Iraq, according to the C.S.Monitor.
"There is some information, unconfirmed information of course, that chemical weapons have been used partially in Homs, ...However, I have absolute conviction that if the circle of the people of Syria becomes tighter on the regime, the regime will not hesitate to use chemical weapons."
Fares claims that the Assad regime will not hesitate to use chemical weapons if backed into a corner.
According to another report, some of Assad's top officials (including Fares) have fled Syria:
Several high-placed generals bolted Bashar Assad’s inner circle Sunday, July 17, including such key figures as two security services chiefs who were operations commanders of the Alawite Shabiha militia plus the former head of Syria’s chemical and biological administration who took six other generals with him. They all fled to Turkey and defected. A fourth senior general from another security service was assassinated in Aleppo.Russia has sent 6 warships near Syria recently, but has denied that it has anything to do with the mounting tensions growing in the region.
Currently the U.S. has two aircraft carriers in the region as well. According to the Wall Street Journal, Gen. Little said the need comes from a "wide range of security issues" in the region. "This is not about any one particular country or any one particular threat," he said.