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Arming the Syrian Opposition Is No Solution

Controlling the spread of arms may not be possible if the only solution to end the bloodshed in Syria is by arming the opposition, writes Tulin Daloglu.
A Free Syrian Army fighter takes position inside a room as he points his weapon through a hole in Aleppo's Saif al-Dawla district March 20, 2013. REUTERS/Giath Taha (SYRIA - Tags: CONFLICT) - RTR3F8E4

No one seems to have a clear road map as to how to end the bloodshed in Syria. Just a quick recap to what happened in the past week is enough to illustrate how the international community has been unable to find a solution. The Arab League decided to arm the Syrian rebels on Tuesday [March 26], but the New York Times revealed two days earlier on Sunday that Turkey and the Arab governments had already been sending arms to the rebels with the blessings of the US for the past year — despite the White House statements claiming that they are against providing lethal weapons to the rebels. In the meantime, during an informal meeting [March 22] discussing how to bring an end to the Bashar al-Assad regime, 25 of the 27 foreign ministers of EU member countries remained opposed to the proposal by France and the UK to lift sanctions and allow arms delivery to the Syrian rebels, while Russia insisted on a politically negotiated settlement to see through this crisis.

There is no breaking news in the New York Times article except that it provides some concrete information on how these weapons have been transferred to the bleeding Syrian theatre. “The airlift, which began on a small scale in early 2012 and continued intermittently through last fall, expanded into a steady and much heavier flow late last year, the [air traffic] data shows,” the article reads. “It has grown to include more than 160 military cargo flights by Jordanian, Saudi and Qatari military-style cargo planes landing at Esenboga Airport near Ankara, and, to a lesser degree, at other Turkish and Jordanian airports.”

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