A Syrian army tank fires during fighting in Jobar, Syria, Oct. 14, 2015. (Alexander Kots/Komsomolskaya Pravda)
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U.S. President Barack Obama's plan to directly arm rebels fighting inside Syria is raising concern from Congress and intelligence officials over whether it provides enough safeguards to prevent the weapons falling into the wrong hands.Obama's aides say that under the recalibrated Pentagon program, the leaders of Syrian units given arms will be rigorously screened, and that U.S. military personnel are in contact with commanders on the ground.Col. Steve Warren, a Baghdad-based spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition battling ISIS, said Tuesday the weapons and equipment had been dropped to leaders of the Syrian Arab Coalition, a collection of 10 to 12 groups numbering about 5,000 fighters.Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told a news briefing last Thursday that Kurdish forces recovered some of the weapons from Sunday's airdrop.The YPG said on Oct. 12 it had joined forces with Arab rebels and that their new alliance has been promised fresh weapon supplies by the United States for an assault on ISIS forces in what is effectively their capital, Raqqa.
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