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Most arms to Syria rebels fall into hands of extremists: reports

(Xinhua)

08:42, October 16, 2012

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Most of the arms shipped to the Syrian rebel groups have fallen into the hands of the hard-line Islamic jihadists instead of the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, said a New York Times story on Monday.

That conclusion, of which U.S. President Barack Obama and other senior officials are aware from classified assessments, casts into doubt "whether the White House's strategy of minimal and indirect intervention in the Syrian conflict is accomplishing its intended purpose of helping a democratic-minded opposition topple an oppressive government, or is instead sowing the seeds of future insurgencies hostile to the United States," said the story which is based on interviews with American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats.

The United States is not directly providing the Syrian opposition with weapons. However, countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar are known to be feeding weapons to the Syrian rebels, it said.

"The opposition groups that are receiving the most of the lethal aid are exactly the ones we don't want to have it," an anonymous American official who is familiar with the matter told the newspaper.

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