Obama 'signs action backing Syrian rebels'

2012-08-02 09:08

Washington - President Barack Obama has signed a covert document authorising US support for Syrian rebels locked in a battle to overthrow beleaguered President Bashar Assad, reports said on Wednesday.

The directive was contained in a "finding" - a device authorising clandestine action by the Central Intelligence Agency, NBC and CNN said, citing unidentified sources.

White House officials declined to comment on the reports but did not specifically rule out the idea that Washington was providing more intelligence support to anti-Assad forces than had previously been made public.

Washington has previously said that it is offering medical and communications assistance to Syrian rebels but declined to supply arms, warning it would be counter-productive to further "weaponise" the conflict.

Officials have confided they are wary of sending armaments to groups about which little is known and who some experts fear may eventually display extremist tendencies.

Reports of an increased US role with Syrian rebels came as the violent showdown in Syria appeared to be edging closer to an endgame, and clashes raged between government and opposition forces in Damascus and Aleppo.

No indication of policy change

They also coincided with rising political pressure on the White House to demonstrate more support for the opposition in Syria, despite US reluctance to become more directly involved in another Middle Eastern war.

It was not clear when Obama signed the secret order. There was no indication however that Washington had changed its overarching policy of not directly providing arms to the rebels.

On Monday, Obama spoke by telephone with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the two leaders agreed to "accelerate a political transition in Syria", the White House said.

This "would include the departure of Bashar Assad and be responsive to the legitimate demands of the Syrian people", the statement said.

Syria is in the grip of a conflict now in its 17th month, triggered by Assad's brutal repression of a pro-democracy revolt. Western and Arab powers have called for him to step down and allow an orderly transition of power.

Washington has been frustrated by Russian and Chinese opposition to direct punitive action against Assad in the UN Security Council and appears now to be seeking ways outside the world body to pressure his regime.

  • tebogo.kwape.1 - 2012-08-02 09:12

    They are at it again...

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-02 16:38

      Why would you want the freer world to NOT help Syrians trying to free themselves? The unelected dictator has control of the Syrian state and its military, and is using these to butcher Syrians and their families just because they want to vote freely. Would you not have wanted the South African liberation movement to received help against the Apartheid regime?

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-02 22:19

      Patrick's highly immature and obsessive anti-West core belief again, misleading himself and unwittingly supporting sheer oppression and autocracy.

  • osmaseko - 2012-08-02 09:38

    eish eish eish Barak, Barak, Barak damn

      michangel.justice - 2012-08-02 15:12


      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-02 16:39

      Michangel, no offense, you're talking nonsense. You're in for a looooong wait.

      michangel.justice - 2012-08-03 10:09

      fred i guess u been spending to much time in the looo, get out and wake up brother. Even our army has currently and still buzy conducting military ops in the karoo, in preparedness of whats coming. WAKE UP BROTHER, WAKE UP PEOPLE.

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-02 09:53

    Americans have always spoken out of both sides of their mouth. "We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them." G.W. Bush Iran which supports a legitimate liberation movement in Palestine is labelled as a sponsor of terrorism but the US can choose which "terrorists" they want to support.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-02 11:02

      Only the ignorant,dumb and stupid will call Syria's opposition "terrorists" The daddy of this assad monster , hijacked Syria, through TERRORISM. This assad uses TERRORISM to keep this country for the assad dynasty. The ones you call 'terrorists' are called 'OPPOSITION' in EVERY country of the world. At present, they have only ONE goal; to get rid of these assads. Absolutely GREAT , that the USA is going to give the Syrians a hand in making Syria free of TERRORISTS!!!!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-02 12:00

      Bones, If you are one of these silly childish radicals, who can only spew ' anti American BS, than continue entertaining your buddies on this site, cause that all you do; Entertain !!! However if you have an 'open` mind, you will find little wrong with my above comment. Again , it are only the ignorant, dumb and stupid, that will deny the truth. Anyhow, if this assad dog is your hero, enjoy it while it last. It won't be long now, and he will be pulled out of his (hiding) hole!!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-02 12:17

      criticallyhonest - August 1, 2012 at 11:05 Anthony: Come on now, drop the rhetoric! Words like 'rubbish, terrorist, strength, unity, common goal, and regime', add nothing to the discussion except declaring your worldview. xxxxxxxx Nothing added to the discussion as usual!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-02 15:53

      Fidel, Discussion......??????? What you on about ? All you and your radical buddies do, is get rid of some anti Western HATRED. THAT'S ALL !!!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-02 16:27

      Fidel's highly immature anti-West core belief at play again. To him, helping Syrians liberate themselves from decades of brutal unelected dictatorship is wrong, and the election-adjusting, terrorism-funding, women-stoning, holocaust denying Iranian regime is to be supported. He inverts reality, unwittingly enables oppression and defends his delusion. He does not know he is doing this, but doing it nonetheless he is.

      shane.loxton - 2012-08-02 19:20

      @ Anthony which country do you think is starting to impose all these new laws? Rezoning of thousands of acres of beautiful, low-density agricultural farmland and protected residential conservation land into office parks Down-zoning of agriculture land to prevent future subdivision by farmers Up-zoning of low-density residential land around small towns into higher density zoning to permit construction of hundreds or possibly thousands of inclusive housing units, including apartments and condominiums Inclusive housing with placement of multi-family construction on in-fill lots within existing residential single family communities Endorsement of government-sponsored housing initiatives (subsidies) to ensure healthier, balanced neighborhood? Why geee its a Western contry and theres more to come look up Agenda 21

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-02 22:27

      Unfortunately Bones has brainwashed himself as well. He too is supporting the brutal oppression of Syrians and their families by an unelected dictator who's father handed him power.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-03 05:35

      Shane, It sounds very very interesting, but WHAT the heck are you talking about ???

  • cpgiliomee - 2012-08-02 09:58

    Iraq all over again. Why ??????

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-02 16:28

      The real question is why you would not want to help Syrians and their families, who are being butchered in their homes by the self-styled bloody surgeon of Surgeon, just because they want to vote. This is unconscionable.

  • johnny.potatoes61 - 2012-08-02 10:41

    So he's not so different from Bush afterall. People are stupid.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-02 16:04

      Johnny, Is it not absolutely great, that we still got leaders in this world, who will stop a murderous maniac, slaughtering his 'own' people. A TERRORIST, who puts snipers on roof tops, shooting live amunition at women and children A TERRORIST, who tells his war plane pilots to bomb opposition strong holds. A TERRORIST, who tells his gunship helicopter pilots, to shoot live amunition at women and children A TERRORIST, who tells his tank commanders to fire rockets into residential buildings. A TERRORIST who tells his thug soldiers to kick in doors and kill the mother and her children inside the home. Their crime; The husband and father of the kids, wants another government !! And YOU have a problem, that another country's leader will help STOP this TERRORIST WHAT the heck went wrong in your life ???????

      shane.loxton - 2012-08-02 18:44

      Anthony, i have seen 12 year old kids and woman carrying weapons and shooting them at government forces, from South Africa, Angola, Congo, Somalia, Iraq Afghanistan Just because they are woman and children don't make them a less of a threat.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-03 05:39

      Shame, To support this assad dog, you just make up your own stories . Have fun !!

  • pierre.smit.7921 - 2012-08-02 13:33

    USA involvement is a good thing.Assad must be stopped

  • shane.loxton - 2012-08-02 14:00

  • shane.loxton - 2012-08-02 14:05

    While vigorously supporting rebellion in Syria, Gulf nations have little patience for political dissent at home, which reveals double standards and Western interests in the region, Saudi riot police shooting at Protesters in Quatif but want "Democracy" in Syria Crackdowns in Gulf States expose double standards, Al Qaeda has helped to change the nature of the conflict, injecting the weapon they perfected in Iraq — suicide bombings — into the battle against President Bashar al-Assad. The Hula massacre is a turning point in the Syrian conflict. Based on UN observers, the Western public blames the Syrian army. There are reports from eye witnesses that doubt this version. According to them, the civilians were killed by Sunni rebels.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-02 16:32

      This only distracts from the real issue: Syrians trying to free themselves from decades of unelected dictatorship, and being butchered right now in their homes by the self-styled bloody surgeon of Syria. It's like saying the world should not have helped the South African liberation movement because there was racism in their countries, which is exactly what the Apartheid government said at the time. You're being like the Apartheid government.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-02 17:05

      The Apartheid government also used South African tribalism to try and distract from the liberation movement.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-02 17:06

      You're using the same mind-set as the Apartheid government. Why?

      shane.loxton - 2012-08-02 18:39

      Some of you guys are Pathetic and childish, Apartheid government? Right Wing? Anti West god i I thought we had some intelligent thinking people here but i was wrong. Have any one of you been to the Middle East? I have, Syria Jordan Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan but to mention a few. People need to stop talking from the hate, feelings and what they "think" they know, and start talking facts. I would recommend a good book for you lot to read but i think im wasting my breath here, but here goes . . .Hoodwinked: An Economic Hit Man, Robert Baer Reviews Hoodwinked I wasn’t twenty pages into Hoodwinked when I realized Perkins nailed it. What got us into the mess we’re in today, the worst recession since the Great Depression, is the same grotesque capitalism cum corruption we shoved down the throat of the Third World since the end of World War II. (Yes, the Third World’s elites were cheerfully corrupted.) We, and the rest of the West, learned the trick of selling unneeded infrastructure, services, over-sophisticated weapons--stuff that could never benefit anyone other than the people who lined their pockets. And yes, Perkins is right, the international economists and press were handmaidens to the thievery.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-02 19:20

      "Confession of an Economic Hitman" is written by John Perkins, that's if you are referring to the same book.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-02 22:32

      Completely irrelevant to the plight of the Syrian people being slaughtered in their homes by an unelected dictator, in control of the Syrian state and its military, who doesn't want them to vote in free and fair elections. The Free Syria Army has been crying for help. They are heavily outgunned by a remorseless killer. The little help the US is giving them is a far cry from what they really need, and should be receiving.

  • jojo.balela.1 - 2012-08-02 14:38

    I wonder what Obama has to say about the fighting in Burma?!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-02 16:33

      What has that got to do with Syrians trying to free themselves from decades of oppression? Nothing.

  • Shane Loxton - 2012-08-02 18:07

    @ Fred, Patrick is quite right to distrust the West, the USA has been involved, caused or sponsored over 85 wars since world war 2 all to their own benefit, why should the Middle East countries be any different? What i dont get in the one statement of Patricks is his comment about Right Wing Thinking? I dont see the context of this argument.

      shane.loxton - 2012-08-02 18:52

      LOL Pat< if i may call you that< i have seen that here its more about personal feelings and spewing media feed crap as justification for many of the peoples arguments problem today, is back 40 years ago people knew 'more fact" than the people do today very sad. It would be nice just to comment on what one know and not one what thinks is right becasue of what they been told. WE WERE ALSO TOLD THERE WMD'S IN IRAQ, TILL TODAY NOT TO BE FOUND AND I'VE WALKED THERE. The only signs of WMD weapons are the US depleted uranium rounds laying around And yet these people still trust them as it being gods given word

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-02 19:21

      @Shane Wright wingers have always been bigots and warmongers!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-02 22:46

      ""Welcome on board Shane"" But , don't rush... This train with Fidel and Patrick, has been stuck at the same station for the last 45 years !!!

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