KSA provides arms to Syrian rebels

ksa-syriaIn talks being held with Pakistan, Saudi Arabia is trying to get hold of Pakistani made weapons for Syrian rebels trying to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad after the failure of Geneva peace talks according to a source close to officials in the kingdom. The United States has been reluctant to support such a move because of fears that the weapons might end up in the hands of extremists. Confirmation of involvement of all three countries is yet to be obtained.
According to Simon Henderson, Director of the Gulf and Energy Policy Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, delivering weapons to the rebels will provide the US with short-term relief while it is feared to pose a huge threat to civilians in the long-run.
The rebels have been claiming that the weapons would help them defend themselves against Syrian warplanes which regularly attack them. The head of the Syrian opposition, Ahmad Jarba, promised during a flying visit to northern Syria last week that “powerful arms will be arriving soon.”
The source added that Saudi Arabia is coordinating rebel movements in Syria’s southern front, in collaboration with Jordan while Qatar and Turkey oversee the northern front. Saudi Arabia has come to overshadow Qatar as the main supporter of the Syrian rebels. This was illustrated by last July’s election of Ahmad Jarba, who has strong Saudi links and last week’s dismissal of General Selim Idriss who was considered close to Qatar and was criticized for “bad distribution of weapons” and “errors in battle.” To further strengthen its activities in Syria, Riyadh has transferred the Syrian dossier to its Interior Minister after Intelligence Chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan who has heading the file triggered American criticism.

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