Rep. Lynch Expresses Doubts About Funding Syrian Rebels, But Stands By Yes Vote

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Massachusetts U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, one of two members of the state's congressional delegation who voted in favor of arming and training Syrian rebels, now says he has "some reservations."

Lynch, who is in Turkey working to encourage that country to get involved in the U.S.-led fight against ISIS, told WBUR's All Things Considered host Sacha Pfeiffer that he still doesn't have "a real good sense of whether they are reliable partners and whether they are sufficient in numbers to accomplish what we're asking them to accomplish."

Lynch, who arrived in Turkey from Iraq, where he met with Kurdish leaders and members of the Free Syrian Army, also noted that even some Syrian rebels described as moderate "are actually quite sectarian in their approach. Some of these are Sunni groups that are in the fight because they're fighting [Syrian President] Bashar al Assad. That's their focus."

Still, Lynch says he isn't second-guessing his vote to fund the rebels, which he says are made up of about 60 different groups.

"We know we have a terrorist state here that's operating," Lynch said, about ISIS. "I think we put enough safeguards in that vote that allowed me to take a yes vote on that."

Listen to our entire conversation with Rep. Lynch above.

This segment aired on October 9, 2014.

Headshot of Lynn Jolicoeur

Lynn Jolicoeur Producer/Reporter
Lynn Jolicoeur is the field producer for WBUR's All Things Considered. She also reports for the station's various local news broadcasts.


Headshot of Sacha Pfeiffer

Sacha Pfeiffer Host, All Things Considered
Sacha Pfeiffer was formerly the host of WBUR's All Things Considered.



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