Etterretningskomiteen i begge kamre i Kongressen har godkjent at CIA kan levere våpen til utvalgte opprørere i Syria.
The House and Senate intelligence committees have approved CIA weapons shipments to opposition fighters in Syria, allowing the Obama administration to move ahead on the stalled program, senior congressional and administration officials said Monday.
Despite ongoing “very strong concerns about the strength of the administration’s plans in Syria and its chances for success,” the House committee reached consensus “after much discussion and review,” Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said in a statement.
Both the House and Senate panels voted on the administration’s plan last week, officials said.
The agreement allows money already in the CIA’s budget to be reprogrammed for the Syria operation, a covert action that President Obama approved early last month. The infrastructure for the program, which also includes training, logistics and intelligence assistance — most of it based in Jordan — is already in place and the arms would begin to flow within the next several weeks.
Some lawmakers have criticized the proposal as insufficient to make a difference on the battlefield, and called for U.S. air support for the beleaguered rebels with attacks on Syrian airfields or establishment of a no-fly zone over rebel-held territory.
Others have objected to any U.S. military involvement in the Syrian civil war — a position supported in numerous American public opinion polls — and questioned whether the administration has a realistic long-term plan.
While voicing appreciation for Rogers’s efforts to “try to reach consensus,” Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the intelligence committee, said Monday night that he disagreed “and wish to make my dissent clear. In my view, the modest chance for success of these plans does not warrant the risk of becoming entangled in yet another civil war.”