Syria Rebels Raid Assad's Arsenals

(Reuters) Peter Apps - Syrian rebel success in capturing government armories is rendering increasingly irrelevant Western efforts to limit supplies from abroad and avoid sophisticated arms reaching Islamist militants. Western nations, particularly the U.S., remain highly nervous of weapons falling into the wrong hands, while even Saudi Arabia and Qatar - the two most enthusiastic rebel backers - appear to have cut back support in recent weeks. However, the capture of a growing number of bases from forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad increasingly obviates the need for outside support. "With or without the U.S. arming the rebels, the jihadis are gaining greater influence on the ground," says Mona Yacoubian, a former State Department official and now Syria expert at the Stimson Center in Washington.

2012-12-18 00:00:00

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