Syrian rebels are being armed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, The Independent has learnt, in a development that threatens to inflame a regional power struggle provoked by the 15-month-old uprising against the Assad regime.
However, three weeks ago, members of the loose assortment of rebel groups that comprises the FSA said they had received multiple shipments of arms including Kalashnikov assault rifles, BKC machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank weaponry from Gulf countries and that Turkey was assisting in the delivery of the weapons.
"The Turkish government helped us to be armed," said one member of the FSA living in the Turkey-Syria border area. He claimed that the weapons had arrived at a Turkish port via ship and were then driven to the border without interference from Turkish authorities.
...the diplomat voiced concerns that, in practice, the weapons have only been delivered to rebels sympathetic to the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, the dominant group within the SNC. "Only Muslim Brother groups are getting weapons,"
he said. Activists along the border not affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood said they had not heard of the weapons being delivered until just a few days ago.