Syria: Forget About Arming the Opposition? "Had the Obama administration decided in the summer of 2012 that real support for mainstream Syrian rebels facing a criminal regime and a growing al-Qaeda presence was worth providing, it is hard to imagine that, in early 2015, the region and the world would be facing the possibility and the consequences of Syria divided between two mass murdering entities. Instead, the administration fought the looming threat with talking points. It did so while Iran and Russia enabled a humanitarian abomination, while private Gulf donors sent sacks of money to al-Qaeda terrorists and anti-Assad regional powers competed to divide and dominate the Syrian nationalist opposition, armed and unarmed. Washington was consciously AWOL."