Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The U.S. and the U.K. suspended Tuesday all non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels following the takeover by an Islamist group of a warehoused storing U.S. supplies, the State Department said.
The warehouses in the town of Atmeh and belonging to the opposition’s Supreme Military Council (SMC) contained U.S.-supplied food, medical kits, some communications equipment and several pick-up trucks when they were seized Friday by members of the Islamic Front, a new alliance of Islamist groups that is now the biggest rebel organization in Syria. The IF rebels convinced SMC-affiliated rebels guarding it that they were in danger of attack by a group linked to al-Qaeda.
The SMC reacted to the suspension by calling the U.S. move premature, according to SMC spokesman Louay al-Mokdad. Mokdad said they hope that the U.S. will rethink its decision.
The SMC spokesman blamed the takeover of the warehouses to a misunderstanding between the two rebel factions.