NY Times covered this (finally) in the middle of the Trump transition turmoil.
Watch the double-speak:
Twice they claim it started in 2013, then admit it started in 2012. No mention of prior to that, such as the Wikileaks revelations of covert money flowing into Syria from 2006 on.
When President Obama secretly authorized the Central Intelligence Agency to begin arming Syria’s embattled rebels in 2013, the spy agency knew it would have a willing partner to help pay for the covert operation.
The C.I.A. helped arrange some of the arms purchases for the Saudis, including a large deal in Croatia in 2012.
Times admits this is an act of war, and has nothing to do with fighting ISIS:
That program was designed to train rebels to combat Islamic State fighters in Syria, unlike the C.I.A.’s program, which focuses on rebel groups fighting the Syrian military.
William McCants, a former State Department counterterrorism adviser and the author of a book on the Islamic State. “If this is purely a conversation about counterterrorism cooperation, and if the Saudis are a big part of the problem in creating terrorism in the first place, then how persuasive of an argument is it?”