NEWSWATCH Washington Post: “Did U.S. weapons supplied to Syrian rebels draw Russia into the conflict?”

File Photo of U.S. Soldier Training Lithuanian Soldier with TOW Anti-Tank Missile

October 12, 2015

The Washington Post covers Russia’s entry in the Syrian Civil War and the impact of U.S. military transfers to some Syrian rebel groups.

American antitank missiles supplied to Syrian rebels are playing an unexpectedly prominent role in shaping the Syrian battlefield, giving the conflict the semblance of a proxy war between the United States and Russia …

… U.S.-made BGM-71 TOW missiles were delivered under a two-year-old covert program coordinated between the United States and its allies to help vetted Free Syrian Army groups in their fight against ….

So successful have they been in driving rebel gains … that rebels call the missile the “Assad Tamer” … in recent days they have been used with great success to slow the Russian-backed offensive … rebels claim they took out 24 tanks and armored vehicles on the first day, and the toll has risen daily since then. “It was a tank massacre,” said Capt. Mustafa Moarati ….

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