US Privatizing War Against Syria?
July 28, 2012 • 7:18PM

Officialy, the Obama Administration is refusing to provide weapons and other lethal assistance to the Syrian rebels, but perhaps it prefers to privatize its effort to overthrow the regime of Bashar al Assad? A Washington, DC-based organization called the Syrian Support Group, which openly advocates arming the Free Syrain Army, announced, this week, that the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control has granted it a waiver to provide logistical and financial support to the armed resistance. "The OFAC decision is huge," Brian Sayers, the SSG's hired lobbyist, told journalist Laura Rozen. "It gets us the leeway to support the Free Syrian Army in broad terms." Those terms include "providing financial, communications and logistical support to the FSA," Sayers explained, which cane be used to pay for salaries and provisions, communications equipment, satellite imagery and vehicles for transport. Of course, the SSG wants more, to include intelligence support from US drones and, of course, weapons.

The SSG was formed, last December, by Syrian expatriate Mazen Asbahi, a Chicago lawyer, who in 2007-2008 worked to support Barack Obama for president, but was forced to resign when his one-time connections to an Islamic investment fund under investigation by the Justice Department came to light. The group provides no information about its backers on its website, although on June 25, the Daily Beast reported that the group had received 59 donations totaling about $5,000, certainly not enough money to do anything with.