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US secretly backs rebels to fight al-Qaeda in Syria

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Ruth Sherlock
London Telegraph
January 22, 2014

The United States and Gulf countries have been secretly backing efforts by opposition rebels to destroy al-Qaeda’s most extreme wing in Syria, diplomats and rebels involved in the plan have told The Telegraph.

As Western leaders publicly push the Syrian regime and the opposition to the Geneva II peace conference that begins Wednesday Washington has also been quietly supporting moves by Saudi Arabia and Qatar to give weapons and cash to rebel groups to fight al-Qaeda’s Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) in Syria.

One source said the US was itself handing out millions of dollars to rebel groups best equipped to take on the extremists while another confirmed America was providing non-lethal aid.

The development marks a new phase in the conflict, with international backers working directly with rebel commanders to target al-Qaeda cells, who are seen as a major threat by Western intelligence agencies.

Full story here.

This article was posted: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 11:23 am





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