Syrian rebels want U.S. anti-aircraft missiles

He said stringent safeguards would be put in place to ensure the weapons can’t fall into the hands of al Qaeda-linked militants. He added that he will assure the White House the moderate and secular-leaning Free Syrian Army is committed to defeating al Qaeda’s allies.

In addition to tightly-controlling the quantity of Manpads in rebel hands, aides to Mr. Jarba said the specially-trained officers who would be allowed to employ them on the battlefield would be required to film each weapon’s serial number before and after use.

“Our mission is to convince the U.S. to give us those weapons, or to convince them to allow our friends to provide us with those weapons,” Mr. Jarba said in an interview on Sunday. “We want a limited quantity, which would be used very specifically.”

Mr. Jarba said the goal would be to shoot down several of the regime’s helicopters and fighter planes to prevent them from continuing to drop so-called barrel bombs on population centers, a tactic that the West has condemned.