|March 23, 2013
The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has been aiding the opposition in Syria by providing it with information that could be used against President Bashar Assad’s forces, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
The actionable intelligence is being supplied to small, well-vetted rebel units, current and former U.S. officials told the WSJ.
According to the report, the U.S. has initiated the effort in order to strengthen secular forces in the country amid concerns that Assad’s fall could empower Islamist extremists – including al-Qaida – in the country.
The expanded CIA operation is part of a wider effort by Western agencies to train Syrian opposition in weapon use, urban combat and counterintelligence.