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Report: France, Belgium, Saudis Send Weapons to Syrian Rebels

Reports on Monday said that Syrian rebels have begun receiving weapons from France and Belgium, via Saudi Arabia
By David Lev
First Publish: 6/17/2013, 6:00 PM

Syrian troops take position in a heavily damaged area in Aleppo
Syrian troops take position in a heavily damaged area in Aleppo
AFP photo

Reports on Monday said that Syrian rebels have already begun receiving weapons from various sources, as they attempted to wrest control of the country from the control of President Bashar al-Assad. While a debate is taking place in the U.S., Britain, and other countries about helping the rebels with arms, the reports said that rebels have already gotten advanced weapons with the assistance of Saudi Arabia, Belgium, and France.

According to a report by Reuters Monday, all three countries have been working together to supply the rebels with a variety of weapons for several months. Saudi Arabia delivered missiles to rebel groups, obtaining them from sources in Belgium and France. France, the report said, paid for the missiles.

The weapons were delivered to the head of the Free Syrian Army, General Salim Idris, the report added. The FSA is considered the “mainstream” opposition force to the Assad regime. Fighting against Assad also are several groups of radical Islamist Sunnis, affiliated with Al Qaeda. But these groups are not part of the FSA, spokespeople for the group said.

A source quoted by Reuters said that Saudi Arabia had decided to get involved in the conflict after Assad achieved a number of strategic victories in recent weeks. Those victories are mostly due to the assistance of some 4,000 Hizbullah terrorists, who are fighting along with Syrian troops.