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

North Korea Is Not Pleased: Dance Video Features Kim Jong Un

Citing a threat to the leader’s dignity, North Korea reportedly asks China to block a video that inserts Kim Jong Un’s image into bizarre situations, all set to a bouncy dance track.


Hospital Settles Lawsuit By Thousands Of Women Over Exam Photos

The Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Health System will pay $190 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that includes more than 7,000 women.


Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin votes for a U.N. Security Council draft resolution demanding full access for investigators at the Malaysia Airlines crash site in eastern Ukraine.

Flight MH17: Black Boxes And Bodies Handed Over; U.N. Calls For Inquiry

In a late-night exchange, pro-Russian separatists have given what they say are Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17′s data recorders to Malaysian officials in eastern Ukraine.


Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Friend Convicted For Impeding Bombing Inquiry

Azamat Tazhayakov has been found guilty on some obstruction of justice charges, and not guilty of others. He was accused of removing evidence from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s dorm room.


Sgt. Ryan Pitts waits for a flight at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.

Veteran Who Held Off Taliban Attack On His Own Receives Medal Of Honor

Army Sgt. Ryan Pitts is credited with holding off a brutal Taliban attack back in 2008. He was the only one left alive at an observation post in Afghanistan, and continued to attack despite injuries.


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