Report: Jihadists getting most weapons sent to Syrian rebels
How should U.S. respond to issue?
- Duration 5:49
- Date Oct 15, 2012
How should U.S. respond to issue?
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Fox News has now confirmed that many of the weapons the gulf Arab states sends to Syrian rebel fighters.
Are actually going to hardline Islamic Jihad it's.
We get the word after the New York Times newspaper initially reported.
There is no effective way to vet rebel groups.
And that Saudi Arabia and cuts are often funneling weapons to -- -- rather than secular fighters.
As one American official put it and I quote here the opposition groups that are receiving the most of the lethal aid are exactly the ones we don't want to have it in quote.
Officials claim that the United States is not directly arming rebel fighters.
But the CIA has reportedly sent officers to Turkey an effort to help funnel those weapons.
Jennifer Griffin is at her post at the pentagon -- this after this is the first time we've heard concerns over jihadist within that within that within Syria getting all the weapons.
Not exactly and in fact shepherd the State Department has been warning about this from the beginning it is the Qatar race and the saudis for that reason.
That we're providing the weapons to the Syrian opposition.
I'm just gonna say that.
We have been tracking this all along we have -- disgusting our concerns about.
The aspirations of the Syrian people all the way through you.
We have urged careful vetting all those kinds of things and we will continue to decent.
Another senior US official told me quote it's not exactly easy to determine whether all of this lethal material goes which.
Explains in part why the United States is treading carefully some lethal aid probably does fall into the wrong hands and in Syria these days.
The right hands one day can be the wrong hands the next that's unfortunate.
But is the nature of this dynamic conflict it's interesting to note that the Israelis have not requested that the US be more involved in Syria and certainly have not requested that the US.
Arm the opposition there because they know how quickly those weapons could be turned on them a neighbor of serious effort.
And the president and his political -- or on the record about this.
Issue of sending weapons.
That's -- the right the president has been.
Opposed and has stopped short he's taking criticism for stopping short.
Of sending weapons are or ordering the military to do anything in Syria to stop the Bashar Asad regime.
Candidate Romney said this last week.
A work with our partners to identify and organize those members of the opposition.
Who share our values.
And then ensure that they obtain the arms they need to defeat -- tanks and helicopters.
And fighter jets.
The Syrian government today denied a Human Rights Watch report that shows the remnants of cluster bombs that were dropped over several Syrian cities.
On the road north from the capital to a left so.
These Russian made weapons explode in the air over the city killing civilians and militants alike.
They are banned by most nations Syria never signed however those human rights convention shepherd.
Jennifer Griffin at the Pentagon -- -- Jennifer -- let's bring in Mike -- here former -- former intelligence officer and as CEO and elevate.
Consulting firm -- -- innovations Mike again good to see if presidential candidate Romney points out -- we want to work with our partners over there are are friendlies over their figure out.
Whose home among these Syrian rebels that that's proving to be difficult isn't it.
Gets extremely difficult I mean you know I was a naval intelligence officer one of the things -- realizes just how little we know about who these people are today.
And then as one of your comments earlier during the reporting was.
You know whoever may be on our side today could very much be against us tomorrow.
We should've learned this lesson will we armed ho chi Minh of Vietnam and an even more recently with the talent on -- during the Russian invasion enough occupation of Afghanistan.
We have a terrible history at this you know it's really hard.
People who were militants who want power when they get power they -- -- to be much less beholden to us and this notion that we're gonna have a lot of power over them is you know is frankly night.
You started speaking about this from what I can find about eight months ago on this on this very program.
Saying it would be if anybody starts arming these guys it is inevitable that some good and some not so good from our perspective.
People are gonna get a hold of them and it's not gonna work and sure enough well here we are.
Yeah and I think you know if you look at just again just in recent history I -- look at Iraq Afghanistan Libya.
Egypt you know that in those four countries we have leadership now that's different than it was just a couple years ago and we have things that are basically anti US interest and we are seeing -- -- basically.
A completely open arms bazaar.
And I come up putting -- heavy weapons that means rocket propelled grenades that means armor piercing rounds that means fifty caliber weapons.
You know those kinds of things are really really dangerous for US interest you think about the attack recently on our on our embassy -- consulate.
You know you come -- heavy weapons that's the whole point it's bad enough that these guys -- -- each other with you know light armor and machine guns and pistols but my god we start getting fifty caliber weapons.
And an even larger rocket propelled grenades that's really really dangerous stuff.
-- some indications cluster bombs may be in the mix now from people who are familiar with cluster bombs it is exactly what it sounds like they drop everywhere and kill everyone indiscriminately.
Yeah they are in and they're very hard to you know -- -- to -- -- against in -- again this is where we get into a real challenge I mean as a real list frankly.
The Asad regime while he's a horrible human being in a terrible person.
It's reasonably stable and -- maybe that's better for us in the long run than having some al-Qaeda linked or or hardcore islamists groups.
Coming to power -- I think about who are these people do lessening of the Saudi regime and in many ways is on our side but there's also a very strong wahhabi trend there.
And even within Saudi Arabia they're people that anti regime elements so the people we end up harming if we get any more involved in this -- have to deal with the outcome either way.
But frankly I'd rather deal with the outcome with them having light weapons and not heavy weapons it's it's a significant difference you know that certainly is Mike -- is going to be thank you.
Thank you all right.