Once a strong supporter of arming so-called “moderate” rebels in Syria, a former U.S. ambassador later criticized the Obama administration for supporting groups allied with major terrorist organizations.
Now, backed with U.S. weaponry, these same groups are a significant barrier to upcoming peace talks in Geneva.
Robert Ford served as the U.S. ambassador to Syria from 2010 to 2014. While he once championed the cause of arming Syrian rebels as a way to topple the presidency of Bashar Assad, he began speaking out against this policy last year. An active Twitter user, Ford admitted last year that the groups being armed by the rebels are actually tied to Al-Qaida and Daesh (an Arabic acronym for the group commonly known in the West as ISIS or ISIL)
In other statements, Ford insisted the issue may have been one of timing. In a June 2014 interview with PBS NewsHour, he claimed that he had encouraged the Obama administration to arm rebel groups he believed to be unaffiliated with Daesh or al-Qaida, and left because he perceived they weren’t acting quickly enough to prevent those terrorist groups from recruiting among the rebels ...