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Geneva Talks Falter as Secret US Flow of Arms to Syrian Opposition Revealed

Weapons were approved by Congress in closed-door meetings

- Sarah Lazare, staff writer

Besieged area of Homs January 27, 2014. (Photo: Reuters/Yazan Homsy)The Geneva talks between the Syrian government and some opposition forces faltered Tuesday upon revelations that U.S. Congress secretly approved arms shipments to Syrian opposition forces.

After representatives of the Syrian government expressed anger at the covert weapons flow, the United Nations’ top mediator decided to discontinue the talks planned for Tuesday afternoon.

Reuters revealed on Monday that the U.S. government is sending small arms, as well as the more powerful anti-tank rockets, to "moderate" rebels —identified as "non-Islamist" forces — through Jordan.

The weapons flow has been green-lighted by Congress through the end of the 2014 fiscal year, which concludes next fall, in classified defense appropriations legislation decided in closed-door meetings.

The arms flow contradicts U.S. lawmakers' public reluctance to send weapons to Syria over stated concerns they might end up in the control of Al Qaeda affiliates.

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