Obama`s secret order allows broad support for Syria militants

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By Manju Shukla
Date  1 Aug 2012
Barack Obama has reportedly signed a secret order, authorizing more support for rebels fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

The decree broadly permits the CIA and other US agencies to aid militants in Syria against the country’s army, Reuters quoted informed sources as saying on Wednesday.

The order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence "finding," marks Washington’s growing support for armed terrorists in Syria.

The move came after the United States and its allies failed to push tougher sanctions against the Assad government in mid-July at the UN Security Council.

It was not immediately clear when Obama had signed the secret order while the full extent of the clandestine support the US is providing to Syrian rebels remains unknown.

The White House declined to comment on the report.

A US government source, however, confirmed that under provisions of the presidential finding, Washington is collaborating with a secret command center operated by Turkey and its allies.

Turkey, along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, has established a base near the Syrian border to facilitate military training and transfer of military and communications means to Syrian rebels.

The so-called "nerve center" is located in the southern Turkish city of Adana, which is also home to Incirlik, a US air base where US military and intelligence agencies have a notable presence.

On Wednesday, the US State Department publicly announced a total of $25 million for "non-lethal" assistance to the Syrian opposition.

The US Treasury, meanwhile, confirmed it has authorized the Washington representative of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) militants to conduct financial transactions on behalf of the terrorists.

The FSA has claimed responsibility for a bombing that targeted the headquarters of the National Security in the capital Damascus on July 17.

Four top Syrian military and security officials, including Defense Minister Dawoud Rajiha, his deputy Assef Shawkat, and Assistant Vice President Hassan Turkmani, were killed in the terrorist attack.

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