U.S. withholds arms from Syrian rebels amid growing persecution of Christians
Congress has witheld funding for the weapons.
Congress is taking measures to protect American security where Obama won't. Congressional committees are delaying the delivery of arms to the Syrian rebels amid concerns they could end up in the hands of Jihadists and militant Islamists, and be subsequently used against Christians, Jews, and other allies.
Several al Qaeda affiliated groups have been identified fighting alongside the Free Syrian Army, and Congressional leaders want to see that weapons will not end up in the hands of terrorists. Committee members say that want more information on Obama's plans to arm these groups and what safeguards he intends to take.
They also want to know if the weapons will truly make a difference as Assad makes new gains against the rebels.
The committees have stopped the shipments by withholding funding.
While Obama does have the power to authorize the shipments, tradition remains strong, and a tacit agreement between Congress and the Oval Office says that shipments will not be delivered if one or more intelligence committees have a serious reservation about them.
The Obama administration noted when it promised the weapons that their shipment was contingent upon consultations with the committees.
Both John Kerry and the CIA have addressed the committees, saying that Assad has used chemical weapons and crossed a red line established by the administration. However, Congress remains worried that the weapons could end up in the hands of terrorists. The Obama administration is yet to satisfactorily address these concerns.
So far over 100,000 people have been killed by fighting in Syria. Many of those dead have been civilians killed in indiscriminate attacks as well as many killed in targeted attacks by both rebels and regime supporters.
Recently, it has become widely recognized that al Qaeda-friendly elements have started persecuting Christians in the region. Christians were relatively unmolested by the Assad regime, and have managed to remain neutral throughout the struggle. This has prompted accusations of collaboration by extremists.
Rebels have attacked Christian churches and martyred clerics in recent weeks.
It is unknown if U.S. aid will now be sent to Syria, and it appears as though the conflict will continue for the indefinite future.
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Middle East News
- Syria will soon outstrip Afghanistan with world's largest refugee population
- United Nations appeals to nearly 1million needy in Gaza Strip
- Rebels working with Syrian government to exchange 12 hostage nuns for jailed female activists
- The United Nations appeals for record $6.5 billion to aid Syria
- 'Family honor' slayings on the rise in some communities in Palestine
- More than 100,000 Ethiopians expelled from Saudi Arabia
- Free the Nuns of St. Thekla! Pope, Orthodox Leaders Urge Prayer for Kidnapped Nuns in Syria
- 'Tolerant' Muslims threaten holy war if Jews try to pray at site of ancient temple
- Embajador palestino en España se ofrece a cambio de liberación de doce religiosas en Siria
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?