Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saudi Prince Acknowledges Arms Aid to Terrorists in Syria

 
TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad should be given anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to "level the playing field" in their war, a senior member of the Saudi royal family said.



Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former chief of Saudi intelligence and the brother of the kingdom's current foreign minister, said at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday that he was no longer in government and did not need to be diplomatic, but "assumed" weapons were being sent to the rebels. He said it would be a "terrible mistake" if they were not.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia became the first Arab leader to call openly for armed support for the anti-Assad opposition after unrests began in March 2011. Along with Qatar, Turkey and the UAE, the Saudis are believed to be the rebels' principal suppliers and financiers. But public discussion of the issue is extremely rare and the demarcation between government and private initiatives is blurred.


Earlier this week, Turki also insisted that the Arab world did not have the capability to handle the crisis alone, clearly implying that western governments should get more closely involved. "It doesn't have the air force, the navy, the army, the intelligence-gathering machinery to go and surgically stop this fighting," he said.


Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country.

Hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed, when some protest rallies turned into armed clashes.


The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.


In October 2011, calm was eventually restored in the Arab state after President Assad started a reform initiative in the country, but Israel, the US and its Arab allies are seeking hard to bring the country into chaos through any possible means. Tel Aviv, Washington and some Arab capitals have been staging various plots in the hope of increasing unrests in Syria.


The Palestinian al-Manar weekly reported that Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been financing and supplying armed rebels in Syria with more explosive materials they have recently purchased from the US, Israel and UK in a bid to help the terrorists carry out their anti-government operations in the Arab country.


Saudi Arabia and Qatar have smuggled the explosives to Syria with the assistance of the intelligence services of the Arab country's neighboring countries, including Turkey, the al-Manar quoted informed security sources as saying in December.


The sources also disclosed that there are special terrorist garrisons in Turkey which are administered by the security officers of Israel and western countries.


So far, several sources have disclosed that Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been financing and dispatching terrorists in Syria and smuggle weapons to the crisis-hit country for campaign against Assad's government.


Reports coming from Syria in mid 2012 said that Saudi Arabia and Qatar in collaboration with the US and Britain have set up a secret command center in Turkey to supply the terrorists in Syria with military and communications aid to seize control of Aleppo city from the Syrian government.


The US daily, Washington Post, reported in May that the Syrian rebels and terrorist groups battling the President Bashar al-Assad's government have received significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, a crime paid for by the Persian Gulf Arab states and coordinated by the United States.


The newspaper, quoting opposition activists and US and foreign officials, reported that Obama administration officials emphasized the administration has expanded contacts with opposition military forces to provide the Persian Gulf nations with assessments of rebel credibility and command-and-control infrastructure.


According to the report, material is being stockpiled in Damascus, in Idlib near the Turkish border and in Zabadani on the Lebanese border.


Opposition activists who several months ago said the rebels were running out of ammunition said in May that the flow of weapons - most bought on the black market.

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