The Washington Post reports that the Obama White House is sending signals that it doesn’t mind if Islamists ramp up their efforts in the Syria rebellion.
The Obama administration is willing to consider supporting an expanded Syrian rebel coalition that would include Islamist groups, provided the groups are not allied with al-Qaeda and agree to support upcoming peace talks in Geneva, a senior U.S. official said Thursday.
In addition, the official said, the Americans would like the Islamic Front groups to return U.S. vehicles, communications gear and other non-lethal equipment they seized last weekend from warehouses at the Syria-Turkey border.
And if they don’t, Barack Obama will personally ask them “Pretty please?” If that doesn’t work, he’ll promise to add sugar on top.
The US doesn’t even know how the Islamists got ahold of our stuff. Though “Here, take the American idiots’ gear, we don’t care” was probably part of the conversation.
The cluster of warehouses in the Syrian border town of Atmeh was controlled by the SMC, and it is unclear how it ended up in Islamic Front hands.
By one account, the Islamic Front offered to help SMC fighters defend the site from an anticipated attack by a group linked to al-Qaeda, and then ejected the SMC rebels at gunpoint.
“We’re not in a position yet to give a definitive account of what happened,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Thursday.