TEL AVIV – Intelligence provided by China was utilized by Syria’s air force to bomb a Western weapons shipment on its way to arm the Syrian rebels, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.
The officials said the air strike was carried out Saturday just as the weapons convoy entered Syrian territory from neighboring Jordan.
The officials said the arms shipment was coordinated with help from the U.S.
Just last week, the Wall Street Journal reported the Central Intelligence Agency began moving weapons to Jordan from a network of secret warehouses as part of a plan to arm the Syrian rebels within a month after first vetting the fighting groups.
The Journal reported the CIA was bringing light arms and possibly anti-tank missiles to Jordan.
On June 13, the White House announced it would provide direct military assistance to the Syrian rebels. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes told reporters on a conference call the new assistance to the Syria opposition’s Supreme Military Council, or SMC, would have “direct military purposes.”
“The president has made a decision about providing more support to the opposition,” Rhodes said. “That will involve providing direct support to the SMC. That includes military support. I cannot detail for you all of the types of that support for a variety of reasons.”
The assistance, Rhodes stressed, is “aimed at strengthening the effectiveness of the SMC on the ground.”
Both Jordan and Turkey reportedly have been serving as forward bases for the rebels to enter Syria and for the transfer of weapons to aid the rebels.