The US famous daily, the Washington Post, confirmed Wednesday that “Syrian rebels have begun receiving significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks.”
According to Syrian opposition, US and foreign officials: “This effort is paid for by Persian Gulf nations and coordinated in part by the US.”
This information contradicted with [US President ]Obama administration officials who emphasized that Washington is neither supplying nor funding the lethal material, 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,” said a senior State Department official, one of several US and foreign government officials who discussed the evolving effort on the condition of anonymity.
The US contacts with the rebel military and the information-sharing with gulf nations mark a manifestation to US inference in Syria’s affairs as many US officials now consider an expanding military confrontation to be inevitable.
“Material is being stockpiled in Damascus, in Idlib near the Turkish border and in Zabadani on the Lebanese border,” the daily reported.
Moreover, opposition confessed this week that the flow of weapons…has significantly increased after a decision by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other gulf states to provide millions of dollars in funding each month.
According to the paper, Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood official Mulham al-Drobi also confirmed that “his movement 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.”
“Large shipments have got through,” another opposition figure said. “Some areas are loaded with weapons.”
The report further unveiled that “US Administration officials also held talks in Washington this week with a delegation of Kurds from sparsely populated eastern Syria, where little violence has occurred.”
“The talks included discussion of what one US official said remained the “theoretical possibility of opening a second front against [Syrian President]al-Assad forces that would compel him to move resources from the west.”
Opposition figures said they have been in direct contact with State Department officials to designate worthy rebel recipients of arms and pinpoint locations for stockpiles.
“There currently are no military or intelligence personnel on the ground in Syria,” US officials said, noting that ” their country is moving forward toward increased coordination of intelligence and arming for the rebel forces.”
One gulf official said that “various people are hoping that the US will step up its efforts to undermine or confront the Syrian regime.”
“We want them to get rid of al-Assad,” he said.