Report: CIA begins arming Syrian rebels


The State Department has begun separate deliveries of vehicles and communication equipment, according to the report.  

The news comes as Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryOvernight Energy & Environment — High court will hear case on water rule Kerry warns about efforts to blunt climate change: 'We're in trouble' Biden's second-ranking climate diplomat stepping down MORE is set to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday to discuss a plan for Syria to hand over its chemical weapons to avoid a U.S. military strike in the country. 

The delay in shipments had been prompted by the difficulty of moving weapons during an ongoing war and concerns about the affiliation of rebel groups. 

According to the report, the weapons are being directed to the Supreme Military Council under the command of Gen. Salim Idris. The weapons will pass through CIA bases in neighboring Turkey and Jordan, and are able to be tracked. 

The timing of the arms movements in the last two weeks coincides with the Obama administration’s determination that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on a large scale Aug. 21, allegedly killing 1,400 people.  

Some members of Congress, including Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBiden's year two won't be about bipartisanship  Biden: A good coach knows when to change up the team These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 MORE (R-Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerRepublicans, ideology, and demise of the state and local tax deduction Cheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force MORE (R-Tenn.), have urged the president to do more to change the momentum in favor of the rebels. 

McCain added an amendment that would give Congress’s support to arming the rebels in a resolution authorizing the use of force that passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week. However, with recent developments, it is unlikely the resolution will be considered in its current form.