SNC confirms Saudi, Qatari weapons in Syria
Published Monday, August 6, 2012
Qatar and Saudi Arabia are giving light arms to Syria's rebels, a spokeswoman for the opposition SNC confirmed on Monday, calling for more advanced weapons to confront Bashar al-Assad's regime.
"Rebels on the ground are searching desperately for arms wherever they can find them," Bassma Kodmani, spokesperson for the external opposition, the Syrian National Council, told France's Europe 1 radio.
"There are certain countries that are providing light and conventional weapons," she said.
Asked which countries, Kodmani said: "It is Qatar, Saudi Arabia, it is maybe a little bit Libya with what it has left over from its own battle."
She said some countries were also providing money to the rebels so they could buy weapons on the black market.
But Kodmani said the rebels were still massively outgunned by pro-regime forces and were lacking "more advanced types of weapons that could be used to confront aviation."
Russia and China have both warned that the arming of the rebels will accelerate Syria's slide into civil war.
Earlier this year Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov warned that such decision would lead to stalemate between the armed opposition and the government, with "slaughter and mutual destruction for long, long years."
The United States has also cautioned against arming rebels, but has not stopped its allies from arming militias if they so choose.
Fighting continued to rage in Syria on Monday, with a bomb blast rocking state television headquarters in the heart of Damascus and the army bombarding a string of rebel-held neighborhoods in Aleppo.