(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. government has confirmed that American weapons are being used by Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar al Assad’s regime.
It’s important to note that the U.S. itself has not confirmed that it is directly sending the weapons to the rebels. The weapons, in fact, are coming from a group called “Friends of Syria.”
The American weapons are anti-tank missiles. As part of the deal, the rebels have promised to not resell the weapons, to protect them from theft and to return the canister of each missile fired.
Meanwhile, Assad has now registered to run in the country’s presidential elections, due to be held in June. A number of other candidates will be running, but Syria’s opposition leaders in exile have been barred. Arab and Western opponents have condemned the election as a mockery of democracy.
Observers say it’s a foregone conclusion that Assad will win his third term and the Assad regime will continue.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Ben Westcott, CNN
Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
Marisa Russell, CNN
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News