US lawmakers call on Obama to provide training for anti-Damascus militants
Iran Press TV
Sun May 5, 2013 9:58PM
US lawmakers have urged President Barack Obama to provide the foreign-sponsored militants fighting against the Syrian government with intelligence and training through Arab states to incite a regime change in Syria.
"US leadership through intelligence and training"-- in coordination with Arab League partners -- "could be hugely helpful to bringing the regime down quicker…" chairman of the US House Intelligence Committee Mike Rogers said on Sunday.
The comments came as the Israeli regime launched a second strike on Syria targeting a research center in a suburb of the capital, Damascus this week, following heavy losses of al-Qaeda-affiliated groups at the hands of the Syrian army.
On Friday, Tel Aviv confirmed that its warplanes had hit a "game-changing" target in Syria.
Meanwhile, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Dutch Ruppersberger has claimed that Washington has "resources no other country has, and we have to make sure to use them. Some of the resources we have are the training of people fighting and the intelligence."
On Thursday, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that Washington is evaluating whether to arm the militants in Syria.
"Arming the rebels -- that's an option," he told reporters.
On the same day, fresh evidence has shed light on the role of foreign countries, the US in particular, in providing training and assistance to the militants and al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria.
In an interview with the state-run BBC, an unnamed senior commander from the terrorist Free Syrian Army (FSA) said the US has been secretly training the militants and the al-Qaeda operatives in neighboring Jordan.
'Most of the rebels have some education; it was not hard for them to detect the American accent of the trainer. He spoke through a translator. But the way he spoke indicated that he was American,' he explained.
The unrest in Syria began in March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.
The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.
Damascus says the West and its regional allies, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are supporting the armed groups.
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