White House rebuffed Clinton-Petraeus plan to arm Syrian rebels - report
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A plan developed last summer by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-CIA Director David Petraeus to arm and train Syrian rebels was rebuffed by the White House, The New York Times reported on Saturday.
The United States has sent humanitarian aid to Syria but has declined requests for weapons by rebels fighting to overthrow the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The White House rejected the Clinton-Petraeus proposal over concerns it could draw the United States into the Syrian conflict and the arms could fall into the wrong hands, the Times said, citing unnamed Obama administration officials.
The plan called for vetting rebels and arming a group of fighters with the assistance of some neighboring countries.
Some administration officials expected the issue to come up again after the November U.S. elections, but the plan apparently died after Petraeus resigned because of an extramarital affair and Clinton missed weeks of work with health issues, the Times said.
Clinton, who stepped down as secretary of state on Friday, declined in a recent interview with the Times to comment on her role in the debate over arming the rebels.
Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was said by some officials to be sympathetic to the idea, the paper reported.
Petraeus and a spokesman for Panetta declined to comment, the Times said.
(Writing by Eric Beech; Editing by Peter Cooney)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- Supreme Court turns the clock back with gay sex ban
- UPDATE 1-U.S. says Ukraine's "European future" can be saved - Nuland
- UPDATE 7-Ukrainian riot police withdraw after overnight move on demonstrators
- Google feeds India and China from data centres next door
- Obama and Castro shake hands, Zuma humiliated at Mandela memorial
U.S. President Barack Obama shook hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at a memorial for Nelson Mandela on Tuesday, a rare gesture between the leaders of two ideological opponents that reflected the anti-apartheid hero's spirit of reconciliation. Full Article | Video
Iran sees progress in talks with powers on nuclear deal implementation. Full Article