World Bulletin / News Desk
Saudi Arabia has financed a large purchase of infantry weapons from Croatia and quietly funneled them to antigovernment fighters in Syria in a drive to break the bloody stalemate that has allowed President Bashar al-Assad to cling to power, according to American and Western officials familiar with the purchases, reported New York Times.
The weapons began reaching rebels in December via shipments shuttled through Jordan, officials said, and have been a factor in the rebels’ small tactical gains this winter against the army and militias loyal to Assad.
The arms transfers appeared to signal a shift among several governments to a more activist approach to assisting Syria’s armed opposition, in part as an effort to counter shipments of weapons from Iran to Assad’s forces.
For months regional and Western capitals have held back on arming the rebels, in part out of fear that the weapons would fall into the hands of some groups. But officials said the decision to send in more weapons is aimed at another fear in the West about the role of some groups in the opposition. Such groups have been seen as better equipped than many nationalist fighters and potentially more influential.Last Mod: 26 Şubat 2013, 09:57