Hurriyet Daily News
October 22, 2013
The United States has cut off northern Syrian moderate rebel groups
from non-lethal aid, with an al-Qaeda advance in northern Syria
physically blocking the aid’s dispersal, as the Obama administration
continues to ‘disengage’ itself from Syria.
Daily Hürriyet’s Washington representative, Tolga Tanış, reported
that the Obama administration commenced its ‘disengagement’ from Syria
on Oct. 2, laying out three conditions to the moderate rebels, should
they wish for the resumption of aid.
A joint U.S.-Russia plan on the chemical disarmament of Syria and
clashes between the Western-Arab-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) and
al-Qaeda-linked rebels known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
(ISIS) factored into the halting of aid to the rebels. Turkey closed its
Öncüpınar border gate on Sept. 18 amid an al-Qaeda advance and the U.S.
stopped a batch of non-lethal aid to moderate rebels.
At the same time a group of Syria’s most powerful rebel brigades have
rejected the Western-Arab-backed opposition group, Syrian National
Coalition (SNC), which announced the creation of an interim government
in exile. The 13 rebel groups, led by the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra
Front, called on supporters of the Syrian opposition to embrace Sharia
On Oct. 2, U.S. State Department officials conferred and decided on
sending three messages to the moderate rebels. Citing an unnamed source
who attended meetings, Tanış said the first one was that the U.S. would
not repeat the same mistake in Afghanistan where supported groups were
radicalized; instead, Washington would wait for moderate groups to
distance themselves from radicals. The second one was that the U.S.
would not resume its provision of aid until Turkey reopens its border
gate and the moderate rebels took control of the northern Syrian town of
Azaz. The third and final one was that the U.S. would not allow for any
further developments until positive indications were observed from the