President Barack Obama’s announcement of an additional $195 million in humanitarian and food aid to Syrian rebels came a day after Al Qaeda-linked forces led those same rebels in an offensive that landed them control over a strategic military airport.
The aid package is the latest gesture of support from the U.S.—which has sent more than $1 billion in humanitarian aid since the two-year Syrian civil war started—to forces that have become dominated by elements the U.S. has been fighting against since the days following 9/11.
The day before Obama announced this latest infusion of aid, Islamist fighters took control of Minnig military airport in northern Syria after months of conflict, according to Reuters.
The command headquarters, the last section still held by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite troops, was overrun by rebels after a suicide bomber drove an armored personnel carrier packed with explosives into the building, Reuters reports.
“The victory again underlines the leading strategic impact being played by militant Islamists, particularly in northern Syria,” military analyst Charles Lister tells McClatchy of Tuesday’s airport seizure. “Every major offensive in northern Syria this year has been announced, led, and coordinated by Islamists.”
One one side is Assad’s regime, on the other are Al Qaeda-led rebels.
But what is the end game?
It’s not a problem lost on Michael Kay, a retired British officer, who writes in the Huffington Post:
Meanwhile, Obama openly linked his latest aid package announcement with the holiday marking the end of Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting.
“Many of us have had the opportunity to break fast with our Muslim friends and colleagues — a tradition that reminds us to be grateful for our blessings and to show compassion to the less fortunate among us, including millions of Syrians who spent Ramadan displaced from their homes, their families, and their loved ones,” the president said in a statement marking the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which began Wednesday and lasts 24 hours.
Here’s a report on the military air base capture from NTD-TV:
Source: The Blaze
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
(H/T: Gateway Pundit)
Obama’s $195 Million Aid Package for Al Qaeda-Led Syrian Rebels Latest Move Against Assad — But What’s the End Game?