Thursday, May 17, 2012

WaPo: Syrian rebels do better with weapons from S-Arabia and Qatar, delivered with US-help

 Syrian rebels with at the background a convoy of the Syrian army that they have destroyed in Rastan in the west of Syria. (WaPo) The rebels have become more successful lately because they received better arms.

Syrian rebel troops have been more successful in their attacks on government troops lately because they received more and better arms which were paid for by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Gulf countries, according to an article in the  Washington Post. 
The article mentioned that the deliveries are partly co-ordinated by the United States. The WaPo:
Opposition activists who two months ago said the rebels were running out of ammunition said this week that the flow of weapons — most still bought on the black market in neighboring countries or from elements of the Syrian military — has significantly increased after a decision by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other gulf states to provide millions of dollars in funding each month.
Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood also said it has opened its own supply channel to the rebels, using resources from wealthy private individuals and money from gulf states, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, said Mulham al-Drobi, a member of the Brotherhood’s executive committee.

Iran, for its part, continues to deliver arms to the Syrian government army, in violation of a UN Security Council ban on weapons exports by the Islamic Republic. This was revealed in a confidential report by experts that monitor the sanctions for the UN Security Council, which was leaked to Reuters news agency shortly after the above article appeared in the Washington Post. However, the weapons were intercepted and never reached Syria. The report described three arms shipments, two to Syria and intercepted by Turkey, and a third shipment of rockets  for the Taliban in Afghanistan. The two shipments to Syria contained assault rifles, machine guns, explosives, detonators, 60mm and 120mm mortal shells and other items, but were intercepted by Turkey, the last one of the two in February.

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