Washington Post: Influx of arms to armed Syrian opposition with Gulf states' money and U.S. coordination
WASHINGTON- The Washington Post newspaper said that the Syrian opposition have begun receiving significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, an effort paid for by Gulf nations and coordinated in part by the United States.
The newspaper added, according to opposition activists and U.S. and foreign officials, that the flow of weapons, most still bought on the black market in neighboring countries, has significantly increased after a decision by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other gulf states to provide millions of dollars in funding each month, after armed opposition figures warned two months ago that they were running out of ammunition.
The article titled 'Syrian rebels get influx of arms with gulf neighbors' money, U.S. coordination' noted that Obama administration officials emphasized that the United States is neither supplying nor funding the lethal arms, which includes antitank weaponry. Instead, they said, the administration has expanded contacts with opposition military forces to provide the gulf nations with assessments of rebel credibility and command-and-control infrastructure.
“We are increasing our nonlethal assistance to the Syrian opposition, and we continue to coordinate our efforts with friends and allies in the region and beyond in order to have the biggest impact on what we are collectively doing,” the Washington Post quoted a senior State Department official as saying.
The newspaper said that "the U.S. contacts with the rebel military and the information-sharing with gulf nations mark a shift in Obama administration policy."
It cited Mulham al-Drobi, a member of Syria's Muslim Brotherhood’s executive committee, as saying that the 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.
The newspaper added, according to another opposition figure that "large shipments have got through," and that "Some areas are loaded with weapons."
Other opposition figures were quoted as saying that they have been in direct contact with State Department officials to designate worthy rebel recipients of arms and pinpoint locations for stockpiles.