(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
AMMAN - Free Syrian Army envoys have urged US officials at talks in Washington to resume a suspended CIA program of military aid if it is serious about challenging growing Iranian influence in Syria, according to Syrian opposition figures.
Mustafa Sejari, a senior official in Syria's mainstream rebel group, said the envoys described to US officials the damaging impact of President Donald Trump's decision last year to stop equipping and training certain rebel groups.
Trump's move was driven by a wish to focus on fighting Islamic State militants and to improve relations with Russia, as well as a lack of results from the CIA's support of the FSA, US officials suggested.
"We endorse President Trump's statements about the need to confront Iranian hegemony in the region. It is time to turn words into action. Until now on the ground it's the Iranian militias that are expanding without serious resistance," Sejari told Reuters by telephone from Washington.