President Obama apparently gave the go-ahead for U.S. intelligence agencies to do everything they can to get Bashar al-Assad out of power in Syria, short of supplying weapons to the rebel forces, according to a new Reuters report. Obama signed a secret order, officially known as an intelligence "finding," earlier this year authorizing the C.I.A. and other intelligence agencies to help out the opposition forces.
The extent of the intelligence support is unknown. Publicly, the State Department said Wednesday they had $25 million set aside for communications equipment for Syrian opposition forces. American officials have been running their support through a rebel command center set up in a town in Turkey that also has a U.S. air base. The air base has a strong population of intelligence officials stationed there.
Apparently U.S. and European officials are pleased with the rebel's performance over the last few weeks, and they've noticed the rebels are a lot more coordinated and organized than they were in the past. Opposition forces are currently in the middle of a bloody battle in Aleppo where they've allegedly been engaging in the questionable practice of executing Assad supporters.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.