Saturday, June 22, 2013

Shoppng List

We have details of the arms being shipped to the rebels. It matches my suggestions pretty closely.

We've provided training in Jordan and Turkey for Syrian rebels to use a number of weapons that they're getting:

CIA operatives and U.S. special operations troops have been secretly training Syrian rebels with anti-tank and antiaircraft weapons since late last year, months before President Obama approved plans to begin directly arming them, according to U.S. officials and rebel commanders.

The weapons list seems pretty good:

The two-week courses include training with Russian-designed 14.5-millimeter antitank rifles, anti-tank missiles and 23-millimeter antiaircraft weapons, according to a rebel commander in the Syrian province of Dara who helps oversee weapons acquisitions and who asked that his name not be used because the program is secret. ...

Since last year, the weapons sent through the Dara rebel military council have included four or five Russian-made heavy Concourse antitank missiles, 18 14.5-millimeter guns mounted on the backs of pickup trucks and 30 82-millimeter recoil-less rifles.

We're not likely to provide anti-aircraft missiles. I'm fine with that. Unless we send in missiles with our own people (special forces, contractors, CIA, or trusted allied special forces or intelligence people) or missiles designed to expire fairly quickly if not used, I wouldn't risk that. The other anti-aircraft weapons will be sufficient for the depleted Syrian air threat.

Bonus points to me for mentioning recoilless rifles! Anti-tank rifles aren't actually useful against tanks--but they work against lightly armored vehicles or personnel at long ranges.