The New York Times said, “according to classified assessments of the crisis in Syria submitted to U.S. officials, U.S. is providing intelligence and other support for shipments of secondhand light weapons like rifles and grenades into Syria, mainly by from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The shipments organized from Qatar, in particular, are largely going to hard-line Islamists”.
The newspaper quoted officials as saying that director of the Central Intelligence Agency, David H. Petraeus has been deeply involved in trying to steer the supply effort.
The newspaper added that one Middle Eastern diplomat who has dealt extensively with the C.I.A. on the issue said that Petraeus’s goal was to oversee the process of “vetting, and then shaping, an opposition that the U.S. thinks it can work with.”
“According to American and Arab officials, the C.I.A. has sent officers to Turkey to help direct the aid, but the agency has been hampered by a lack of good intelligence about many rebel figures and factions,” NY Times said.
“American officials have been trying to understand why hard-line Islamists have received the lion’s share of the arms shipped to the Syrian opposition through the shadowy pipeline with roots in Qatar, and, to a lesser degree, Saudi Arabia.
The newspaper quoted a Middle Eastern diplomat whose government has supported the Syrian gunmen as saying that his country’s political leadership was discouraged by the lack of organization and the ineffectiveness of the disjointed Syrian opposition movement.
The disorganization is strengthening the hand of Islamic extremist groups in Syria, some with ties or affiliations with Al Qaeda.