Nation & World News

As Talks Continue, CIA Gets Some Weapons To Syrian Rebels

By Mark Memmott on September 13th, 2013

It’s Day Two of talks in Geneva between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who are seeing if they can come to an agreement on Russia’s suggestion that Syria hand over its chemical weapons to international monitors — and thus avert a possible strike by the U.S. military.

As the diplomats negotiate, NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman has been following up on Thursday’s claim by the commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army that his forces have not yet received any “lethal aid” — in the form of weapons — from the U.S.

On Morning Edition, Tom said U.S. sources with knowledge of what’s happening say that “the weapons are starting to move into Syria” thanks to a “covert CIA program.” Some “moderate” rebel groups are being supplied with small arms, Tom is being told.

It may be, he added, that Free Syrian Army Gen. Salim Idris just isn’t aware yet of what’s happening because communications are bad inside Syria and because he’s in the north of the country while the weapons are reportedly arriving in the south.

Among the morning’s other stories:

– Moving Stockpiles. “A secretive Syrian military unit at the center of the Assad regime’s chemical weapons program has been moving stocks of poison gases and munitions to as many as 50 sites to make them harder for the U.S. to track, according to American and Middle Eastern officials.” (The Wall Street Journal)

– Executions. “Syrian government and pro-government forces executed at least 248 people in the towns of al-Bayda and Baniyas on May 2 and 3, 2013, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. It was one of the deadliest instances of mass summary executions since the start of the conflict in Syria.”

– Progress In Talks. “Kerry and Lavrov have been making more optimistic noises after meeting the international envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi. They told a press conference they were hopeful that talks on Syria’s chemical weapons would help revive an international plan for a “Geneva 2″ conference to end the war in Syria.” (The Guardian)

U.N. Resolution Not Expected To Include Military Option: According to Reuters, which quotes unnamed Obama officials, the U.S. doesn’t expect a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria to threaten the use of military force, if chemical disarmament fails.

The U.S., said the officials, will insist on a “range of consequences,” including “increased sanctions.”

Thursday’s post: U.S. Rejects Assad’s Timetable For A Chemical Weapons Deal

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Video shows a woman trying to outrun a train.

WATCH: Video Shows Women Narrowly Escape Death On Railroad Tracks

The 4,000-ton freight train could not come to a stop. But the women laid down between the rails and survived.


Video shows a woman trying to outrun a train.

WATCH: Video Shows Women Narrowly Escape Death On Railroad Tracks

The 4,000-ton freight train could not come to a stop. But the women laid down between the rails and survived.


Video shows a woman trying to outrun a train.

WATCH: Video Shows Women Narrowly Escape Death On Railroad Tracks

The 4,000-ton freight train could not come to a stop. But the women laid down between the rails and survived.


A Palestinian girl cries while receiving treatment for her injuries caused by an Israeli strike at a U.N. school in Jebaliya refugee camp, at the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahiya on Wednesday.

Gaza Conflict: Shell Strikes U.N. School, Killing Up To 19 Who Sought Shelter

One U.N. official said this was a “breaking point.” The conflict, now going into its 23rd day, shows no sign of abating. The death toll in Gaza has now surpassed 1,200.


Water cascades down a stairway to a parking structure adjacent to Pauley Pavlion, home of UCLA basketball.

Water Main Break Dumps Up To 10 Million Gallons Of Water, Flooding UCLA

It took officials about four hours to figure out which valve needed to be closed. By then, the UCLA campus was under water, with some staircases looking like waterfalls.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments