France proposes arming Syrian rebels with 'defensive' weapons

Considering that the extremists are growing stronger in Syria, giving the rebels any weapons would be tantamount to arming one side - the wrong side - in the civil war sure to follow the departure of President Assad.

AFP:

In Paris, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius raise the issue of excluding defensive weapons from the current European Union arms embargo on Syria to help rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

"For the moment, there is an embargo, so there are no arms being delivered from the European side. The issue... will no doubt be raised for defensive arms," he told RTL radio.

"The issue will be raised because the (opposition) coalition has asked us to do so," he said, adding that "this is something that we can only do in coordination with the Europeans."

"France's position for the moment is to say that we must not militarise the conflict, but it is evidently unacceptable that there are liberated zones and that they be bombarded by Bashar's planes."

"The issue of defensive arms will be raised," he added.

France became on Tuesday the first Western country to recognise Syria's newly formed National Coalition as the Syrian people's sole representative.

And President Francois Hollande said the question of arming the rebels would now "have to be necessarily reviewed."

National Coalition chief Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib has called on world powers to arm the rebels with "specialised weapons."

But US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that while Washington was encouraged by the new coalition it was not yet ready to recognise it, and also cautioned against the growing clamour to supply weapons to the rebels.

"We're not yet prepared to recognise them as some sort of government-in-exile, but we do think that it is a broad-based representative group," Obama said.

"One of the things we have to be on guard about ... is that we're not indirectly putting arms in the hands of folks who would do Americans harm."

As reports of foreign terrorists infiltrating the Free Syrian Army persist, any arms sent by western powers have the chance of falling into the wrong hands. And despite this new Syrian opposition group being "representative" of the Syrian people, that doesn't mean they will gain power after the revolution. The situation is too cloudy to be reasonably certain that Syria not devolve into an Islamist state following the civil war.

And that would be a very bad thing for Israel.


Considering that the extremists are growing stronger in Syria, giving the rebels any weapons would be tantamount to arming one side - the wrong side - in the civil war sure to follow the departure of President Assad.

AFP:

In Paris, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius raise the issue of excluding defensive weapons from the current European Union arms embargo on Syria to help rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

"For the moment, there is an embargo, so there are no arms being delivered from the European side. The issue... will no doubt be raised for defensive arms," he told RTL radio.

"The issue will be raised because the (opposition) coalition has asked us to do so," he said, adding that "this is something that we can only do in coordination with the Europeans."

"France's position for the moment is to say that we must not militarise the conflict, but it is evidently unacceptable that there are liberated zones and that they be bombarded by Bashar's planes."

"The issue of defensive arms will be raised," he added.

France became on Tuesday the first Western country to recognise Syria's newly formed National Coalition as the Syrian people's sole representative.

And President Francois Hollande said the question of arming the rebels would now "have to be necessarily reviewed."

National Coalition chief Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib has called on world powers to arm the rebels with "specialised weapons."

But US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that while Washington was encouraged by the new coalition it was not yet ready to recognise it, and also cautioned against the growing clamour to supply weapons to the rebels.

"We're not yet prepared to recognise them as some sort of government-in-exile, but we do think that it is a broad-based representative group," Obama said.

"One of the things we have to be on guard about ... is that we're not indirectly putting arms in the hands of folks who would do Americans harm."

As reports of foreign terrorists infiltrating the Free Syrian Army persist, any arms sent by western powers have the chance of falling into the wrong hands. And despite this new Syrian opposition group being "representative" of the Syrian people, that doesn't mean they will gain power after the revolution. The situation is too cloudy to be reasonably certain that Syria not devolve into an Islamist state following the civil war.

And that would be a very bad thing for Israel.


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