Giving Weapons to Divided and Suspicious Rebels in Syria is a Bad Idea


Credit: VOA News; Scott Bobb reporting from Aleppo, Syria

Today, Reason 24/7 featured an article by Mike Giglio from the Daily Beast that outlines the rifts that exist within Assad's opposition. Aside from the different ideologies motivating rebels in Syria suspicion between different rebel groups over money and weapons also threatens the campaign against Assad.

From the Daily Beast:

Suspicion among rebels over money and arms is a persistent backdrop to their campaign against Assad. In recent months, wayward rebels have attempted to raid weapons warehouses belonging to the rebellion's main umbrella group, the Free Syrian Army, says Bassam al-Dada, an FSA adviser. Accusations of arms hoarding, meanwhile, are commonplace—with rebel groups suspecting each other of stockpiling weapons for what they call "the day after," possibly to be used on one another if Assad falls. Some rebel groups "are using the revolution so that in the day after, when they topple the regime, they can be powerful," says Safi al-Safi, a rebel commander in Hama. "There is something they say a lot here in Syria: that after toppling the regime, the real fight will begin."

This should give anyone who wants to give weapons to rebels in Syria some pause. As awful as Assad is, what some rebels have planned for after he is no longer in power could be just as tragic and could further destabilize the region. The Daily Beast article highlights that Assad's opposition includes groups (at least one of which is linked to Al Qaeda) that have no problem kidnapping, torturing, mutilating, and murdering people.

It is hard to see how Assad could still be in power once the civil war in Syria is over. Once Assad is gone it is far from clear what will happen. Given the diversity of Assad's opposition there is a good chance that there will not be a smooth transition from the current regime to whatever follows and that Syria will continue to be a mess even without Assad in power, and one American policy makers would do well to avoid.

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  1. Come off it. Do we really expect them to eat all those hearts and livers with their bare hands? I don’t see how giving away some utensils could make the situation worse.

    1. That is why we are giving them non-lethal aid, condiments and napkins are in short supply.

    2. As a gesture of good will we should send them some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

  2. What could possibly go wrong?


    1. I’ve always been against Syrian intervention by default, not that I expect you or others to actually care about my real position when they are strawmen to burn.

      1. I’ll throw you back in as soon as I get the hook out.

        1. Be careful, NutraSweet. If the ranger sees you hooking a fish that small he’ll write you a citation.

  3. Don’t be such a Negative Nancy, what could go wrong?

  4. What we need in Syria is a poorly guarded embassy, ideally located in an are that would make it difficult to defend from large anti-american protests.

    1. And then some amateur youtube vid.

      1. yeah, something along the lines of a “Mohammed was kinda mean and he smelled funny”-type documentary.

      2. Where would find one of these amateur youtube videos? It’s not like they’re just lying around on the internet.

    2. That’s ridiculous. That would never happen.

    3. And use it as a rendition/torture center.

  5. “Are you rebels divided and suspicious?”
    “No, we’re united and trusting.”
    “Good enough. Have some weapons.”

    1. And hope and change, too!

  6. Some anti-government wog on the otherside of the globe gets piles cool death machines and me, a little freedom-loving, law abiding (mostly), person of palor, can’t get a simple machine gun.
    Can you call this a just world?






  8. “Curiosities on the far side of the world are no threat to us,” Tywin sneered as he scornfully looked down his nose at the petulant boy king, whom he had nothing but contempt for.

  9. Im making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do, …

  10. “could further destabilize the region”

    So they would go from a civil war to an incivil war?

    We must be careful or people in the region might starting blowing each other up with car bombs or such – maybe shoot rockets into neighboring countries or something?!

  11. So does anyone know why I’m being spoofed in nearly every thread I post in? I’m not that frequent of a poster and my views are pretty mainstream for these parts. It’s annoying as fuck when people attribute things to me that I never actually said

    1. RyanXXX| 5.15.13 @ 3:19PM |#

      So does anyone know why I’m being spoofed in nearly every thread I post in?


      Just kidding. WTF are you talking about? If in doubt, its probably Mary/White Indian desperately trying to find a new angle of trolling.

      1. Nevermind. Death to America, Death to the Jews, etc. etc.

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