US Senator and former presidential hopeful Marco Rubio told Sputnik that the growing influence of Islamic radicals inside Syria has made arming rebels more difficult and less productive than it was at the beginning of the country’s civil war.
“It’s a much more difficult proposition now… we [the United States] didn’t empower the right people,” Rubio told the media source Tuesday when asked if he supported arming opposition forces inside Syria. “They were killed and wiped out, and its the radical elements who grew in influence and ability.”
Rubio stated that there was a time when the strategy to arm Syrian rebels might have been more effective when there were still elements on the ground the United States could have worked with, “they are smaller and they are less equipped and less capable than we wish they would’ve been at this stage in the process.”
Rubio also said the rebels on the ground are now “smaller” and “less equipped and less capable than we wish they would’ve been at this stage in the process.”
“I warned at the outset of the conflict that at that time there were Syrians there that we could have empowered, but if we didn’t then the best equipped, most effective groups on the ground would become these foreign Islamic radicals that have flowed into Syria. And that’s exactly how it played out, so it’s harder,” Rubio said.
The Florida senator’s comments recall the Obama administration policies in Syria and the middle east, years of dithering and, finally, an effective yielding to Russia that have all contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands and the displacement of millions.
More than 250,000 Syrians have lost their lives since the start of the conflict, which began with anti-government protests before escalating into a full-scale civil war.