President Barack Obama is photographed through the window as he speaks in the Oval Office during a conference call at the White House in Washington, June 2, 2014.
Washington Post: Plans to send heavier weapons to CIA-backed rebels in Syria stall amid White House skepticism
As rebel-held sections of Aleppo crumbled under Russian bombing this month, the Obama administration was secretly weighing plans to rush more firepower to CIA-backed units in Syria.
The proposal, which involved weapons that might help those forces defend themselves against Russian aircraft and artillery, made its way onto the agenda of a recent meeting President Obama held with his national security team.
And that’s as far as it got. Neither approved nor rejected, the plan was left in a state of ambiguity that U.S. officials said reflects growing administration skepticism about escalating a covert CIA program that has trained and armed thousands of Syrian fighters over the past three years.
The operation has served as the centerpiece of the U.S. strategy to press Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step aside. But U.S. officials said there are growing doubts that even an expanded version could achieve that outcome because of Moscow’s intervention. Obama, officials said, now seems inclined to leave the fate of the CIA program up to the next occupant of the White House.
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WNU Editor: There is no hint of stalling/ambiguity/or scepticism coming from the Kremlin on what needs to be done in Syria .... Kremlin says all of Syria must be “liberated” (AP).