Thursday, 18 December 2014
FSA North’s New Vids Show US TOWs Still Arriving
It might be added that if Jabhat al-Nusra used the TOW's they seized to drive Assad's forces out of most of Idlib province, that's a bit of a win too.
"1. Don’t jump the gun. The CIA-run TOWs program is nominally a covert operation. They don’t do daily press briefings about it at the Pentagon or at Central Command. Operational decisions — who to arm, who not to arm, why and why not — are not discussed publicly, so we’re stuck with sorting through almost purely circumstantial evidence if we want to figure out what is really going on. And sometimes it takes time for circumstantial evidence to emerge — days, or weeks even.
2. It should be no surprise to anyone if the FSA doesn’t get paid on time every time or if weapons shipments are delayed. The U.S. isn’t paying people via direct deposit and getting weapons from Turkey (or Jordan) to the front lines in Syria is a perilous process given how many factions there are, their shifting/unclear alignments and allegiances, and just the general the fog of war.
3. FSA’s SRF in northern Syria is pretty much dead after getting its clock cleaned by Jabhat al-Nusra and its Islamist allies earlier this year. What is going on with the non-SRF FSA is less clear and southern SRF is still alive and kicking judging by the mutual defense pact they co-signed.
4. The CIA’s TOWs program has been a success. Even if it is true that 6 TOWs fell into the hands of Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, something like 300 TOWs were shipped by the U.S. to FSA groups through 2014 which means roughly 98% of the weapons given to moderate rebels were used by moderate rebels."