Saudi Arabia to provide arms to Syrian opposition

Gulf supports Syrian rebels against Assad forces backed by Russia

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

A Saudi official asking for anonymity said that his country will supply Syrian rebels with lethal weaponry in response to Russian air strikes backing Syrian regime forces.

According to his statements, Saudi Arabia will increase supplies of modern, high-powered weaponry including guided anti-tank weapons to the Syrian rebels.

Saudi Arabia is supporting the rebels in their battle against Assad, who is allied with Russia, Iran and Hezbollah.

The supplies will directly go to the rebels and not to the Nusra Front nor ISIS, the official said, according to media sources.

The official said that his country may provide the rebels with missiles to respond to Russian attacks.

Saudi Arabia earlier supported a US-led programme training Syrian rebels alongside Turkey, Qatar and Jordan.

But a senior US defense official said on Friday that the US military program to train and equip moderate Syrian opposition fighters will be amended and refocused.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to reporters, made the claims ahead of a Pentagon announcement that the US initiative would be overhauled.

The four-year conflict in Syria has claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people and displaced half of the pre war population of 22-million either internally or in the neighbouring countries of Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan. More than 350,000 Syrians have claimed asylum in European countries.

TRTWorld and agencies