Promised US weapons not arriving, Syrian rebel general says
FSA forces take up a position on the roof of a building adjacent to a main Syrian Army fortification as the battle continues around them, June 3, 2012, in Kafer Zaita. An FSA commander later stated that 13 BDM armored personnel carriers and two tanks were disabled or destroyed during the battle. For four days, Syrian government soldiers and rebels from the Free Syrian Army have battled for control of the town of Kafer Zaita in central Syria in a fight that shows that the rebel fighters, while disorganized, are able to hold their own against the better equipped Syrian military.
WASHINGTON -- The Free Syria Army was still waiting for deliveries of weapons promised by the United States, the group's leader said Thursday.
General Salim Idriss told US public radio that the rebels had received humanitarian aid, including food and medical supplies, as well as military equipment such as bulletproof vests, night vision goggles, communications equipment and computers, but "no direct military support."
"We still (are) waiting to receive weapons and ammunition. And we told our friends in the United States, we hope that you will support us," Idriss told National Public Radio. He said the rebels' most urgent needs were anti-tank missiles and anti-aircraft missiles.
According to Idriss, the US said it would be very difficult to send anti-aircraft missiles. They promised a fuller answer after further consultation in Washington, he said.
US lawmakers have expressed concerns that the weapons could fall into the hands of jihadists.
The interview with Idriss contradicted a report Wednesday in the Washington Post, saying the CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria. The shipments began arriving in the past two weeks, the newspaper said, adding that the arms shipments are limited to light weapons and other munitions that can be tracked.
The White House said in early June that it wished to support the rebels with weapons.