Could be the worst idea of all time.
Via The Hill:
The top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs panel on Sunday called on the White House to arm rebels in Syria, raising pressure on President Obama to ramp up U.S. involvement in the two-year-old civil war.
“I will be introducing legislation to allow the president to arm the rebels,” Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said on ABC’s This Week. “I think it’s time to do that. I think the Free Syria Army needs help. We know who they are and I think it’s time we make that move.”
The comments follow revelations that top administration officials – including Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former CIA director David Petraeus and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey – have supported such a move since last year. Officials inside the White House, however, caution that weapons, in particular shoulder-fired missiles, could fall into the hands of Islamist extremists.
Conditions inside Syria have steadily deteriorated over the past 23 months despite the $385 million in U.S humanitarian aid, with at least 70,000 people killed to date. Al Qaeda-linked Islamists have made gains within the rebellion, and the opposition leadership on Saturday announced that it was boycotting a meeting of international leaders – including Secretary of State John Kerry – at a summit of the so-called “Friends of Syria” next week in Rome.