On Wednesday, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) and 25 other members of Congress sent a bipartisan letter to President Obama stating their opposition to the transfer of man-portable air-defense systems, or MANPADs, to the Syrian rebels.
The lawmakers warned MANPAD proliferation to the Syrian rebels would represent a “serious threat to civilian airliners in the region — including Israeli airliners — and across the world.”
The letter was in direct response to a Wall Street Journal article last month reporting on CIA plans to possibly arm moderate Syrian rebels with more advanced weaponry if the truce in Syria continues to deteriorate and full-scale fighting resumes.
The article cited U.S. and other officials divulging that the CIA was preparing for a so-called Plan B to counter Russia and Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria. The plan, the newspaper reported, calls for “vetted rebel units with weapons systems that would help them in directing attacks against Syrian regime aircraft and artillery positions.” That option was to be used only if the truce collapses and major fighting resumes.