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The U.S. Veto on Arming the Syrian Opposition | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A man at a site recently hit by what activists said was a Scud missile in Aleppo’s Ard al-Hamra neighborhood, February 23, 2013, REUTERS

Beirut- Syrian Opposition members objected to the presence of a “U.S. Veto” against the armament of the Syrian opposition, despite that the artillery shipped was sent by a powerful Arab country. Among the conveyed arms were specialized weapons.

A Syrian Opposition source told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that operations on equipping the opposition with ammunition and weapons are completely on halt under a U.S. given order circulated by both southern and northern operation rooms under the title of “giving the Geneva negotiations room.”

Sources said that the opposition delegation sent to the negotiations was informed in writing from a fellow Gulf country ambassador that military aid was effectively sent to help the opposition confront the Syrian regime. The shipment includes missiles man-portable air-defense system; however, Washington refused granting the aid access into Syria.

Opposition sources spoke of another American veto which blocked Turkey from sending in a thousand Ahrar ash-Sham fighters to north Aleppo to fight ISIS.

Turkey had requested that Ahrar ash-Sham and the Sham Legion send one thousand combatants each to fight ISIS in Syria, sources added.

The two groups sent roasters including the names of fighters who had moved into Turkey, however the plan soon was thwarted and shut down by a veto signaling Ahrar ash-Sham especially, while allowing access to the Sham Legion.

The U.S.’s swinging stance regarding the opposition has become a motive for the Syrian Opposition’s criticism for the incomprehensibility of the states’ approach.

A Syrian Opposition member residing in Turkey pointed out that all steps took off a year ago in 2011, after a meeting held by the U.S. ambassador in Damascus Robert Ford with opposition members on the 15th of April that year.

At the meetings, Ford confirmed that the U.S. would not lead a military intervention; it would not allow for extremists to rise to power and will not have a single-sided constitution established.

Chairman to the Jusur Syrian Opposition institution, Mohammed Sarmini said that Washington behaves the way it does because it wishes to push the opposition towards negotiations, and that it is convinced that the strong opposition will not make any compromises. That is why it strictly inhibits both its advancement and weakening as to evidently play to the regime’s favor.

Sarmini highlighted that what supports the logic he derived is U.S. behavior over the past five years, since the revolution’s rising. Washington is involved with restricting the type of artillery landing in the opposition’s hands, Sarmini said.