US mulls arms transfer to rebels
Free Syrian Army members walk as they carry rocket-propelled grenades in Idlib. REUTERS photo
The Obama administration is preparing a plan that would essentially give U.S. nods of approval to arms transfers from Arab nations to some Syrian opposition fighters.
The effort, U.S. officials told The Associated Press, would vet members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and other groups to determine whether they are suitable recipients of munitions to fight the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad government and to ensure that weapons don’t wind up in the hands of al-Qaeda-linked terrorists, Agence France-Presse reported.
Meanwhile, diplomats from nearly 60 countries discussed on May 24 a plan drafted by Germany and the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi to try to avoid a total collapse of Syria’s economy. The Working Group on Economic Recovery and Development of the Group of Friends of the Syrian People began talks on a rescue plan for a post-conflict Syria similar to the Marshall Plan implemented in post-World War II Europe.
Meanwhile, international peace mediator Kofi Annan will visit Syria “soon,” his spokesman Ahmad Fawzi told Reuters on May 25. “It was supposed to be around May 27, but it hasn’t been confirmed yet,” another U.N. diplomat also said.