"... A senior Syrian opposition official in Washington who works closely with the Americans said the TOWs were part of a small, tailored program coordinated by U.S. and Saudi intelligence services to "test the waters" for a potentially larger arming effort down the road.The official said the introduction of a small number of TOWs will have limited impact on the battlefield.The main objective is to develop a relationship between vetted fighters and U.S. trainers that will give the Obama administration the confidence to increase supplies of sophisticated weaponry.The U.S. has blocked Saudi Arabia from giving rebels Chinese-made man-portable air defense systems, known as Manpads.Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia offered to give the opposition Manpads for the first time. But the weapons are still stored in warehouses in Jordan and Turkey because of U.S. opposition, according to Saudis and Syrian opposition figures."Basically, this is supposed to be the next step" in the eyes of rebels and their Saudi backers, Mr. Alani said of the hoped-for antiaircraft artillery.Senior administration officials said the White House remains opposed to providing rebels with Manpads. Antiaircraft and antitank weapons could help the rebels chip away at the regime's two big advantages on the battlefield—air power and heavy armor..."
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
'Testing the Waters'
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 9:44 AM