NPR : News

Filed Under:

As Talks Continue, CIA Gets Some Weapons To Syrian Rebels

Play associated audio

It's Day Two of talks in Geneva between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who are seeing if they can come to an agreement on Russia's suggestion that Syria hand over its chemical weapons to international monitors — and thus avert a possible strike by the U.S. military.

As the diplomats negotiate, NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman has been following up on Thursday's claim by the commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army that his forces have not yet received any "lethal aid" — in the form of weapons — from the U.S.

On Morning Edition, Tom said U.S. sources with knowledge of what's happening say that "the weapons are starting to move into Syria" thanks to a "covert CIA program." Some "moderate" rebel groups are being supplied with small arms, Tom is being told.

It may be, he added, that Free Syrian Army Gen. Salim Idris just isn't aware yet of what's happening because communications are bad inside Syria and because he's in the north of the country while the weapons are reportedly arriving in the south.

Among the morning's other stories:

-- Moving Stockpiles. "A secretive Syrian military unit at the center of the Assad regime's chemical weapons program has been moving stocks of poison gases and munitions to as many as 50 sites to make them harder for the U.S. to track, according to American and Middle Eastern officials." (The Wall Street Journal)

-- Executions. "Syrian government and pro-government forces executed at least 248 people in the towns of al-Bayda and Baniyas on May 2 and 3, 2013, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. It was one of the deadliest instances of mass summary executions since the start of the conflict in Syria."

-- Progress In Talks. "Kerry and Lavrov have been making more optimistic noises after meeting the international envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi. They told a press conference they were hopeful that talks on Syria's chemical weapons would help revive an international plan for a "Geneva 2" conference to end the war in Syria." (The Guardian)

Thursday's post: U.S. Rejects Assad's Timetable For A Chemical Weapons Deal

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

A Compelling Plot Gives Way To Farce In Franzen's Purity

The new novel reveals sharp observations and a great, sprawling story. But critic Roxane Gay says the book gets bogged down with absurdly-drawn characters and misfired critiques of modern life.
NPR

Huge Fish Farm Planned Near San Diego Aims To Fix Seafood Imbalance

The aquaculture project would be the same size as New York's Central Park and produce 11 million pounds of yellowtail and sea bass each year. But some people see it as an aquatic "factory farm."
NPR

CNN Just Found A Way To Get Fiorina Onto The Debate Stage

Fiorina had been fighting CNN's September debate criteria. Now, she might get her way and make it into the network's main debate.
NPR

How Startups Are Using Tech To Mitigate Workplace Bias

The idea that everyone makes automatic, subconscious associations about people is not new. But now some companies are trying to reduce the impact of such biases in the workplace.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.