Publishe Date: 3:15 PM - 8/7/2013 | Print

Iranian Deputy FM Renews Strong Opposition to Arming Syrian Rebels

Politics - Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian warned that Syria should wait for 'more violence, more deaths and more destruction' if the western states and their regional allies continue to arm insurgents, adding the Zionist regime of Israel is the main beneficiary of lasting crisis in the Muslim state.

Supporting terrorism and irresponsible armed groups will not only serve the Zionist regime's interests, but also prevent materialization of the goals pursued by the Geneva talks, Amir Abdollahian said.

Early in March, a ranking member of the US marine troops deployed in Afghanistan told FNA that the Pentagon made the decision to send a major part of its light and semi-heavy weapons systems and military equipment to the Syrian rebels along with its pullout from Afghanistan when the former US Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, was still in office.

"The decision to send our arms and weapons systems in Afghanistan to the rebel groups in Syria was originally made when the former US Secretary of Defense was in his final days of office, yet the Pentagon has also received the approval of the new Secretary, Chuck Hagel, as well," said the source who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of his information.

"One of these cargos consists of the light and semi-heavy military tools, equipment and weapons that the US army has gathered and piled up in Kandahar Base and plans to send them to the rebels in Syria in the form of several air and sea cargos and through Turkey and specially Jordan," he explained.

"These weapons and arms systems include anti-armor and missile systems, rocket-launchers and rockets and tens of armored Humvees," the source added, explaining that senior war strategists in the Pentagon believe that they can change the scene of the war in Syria in the interest of the rebel groups with the help of these cargos, specially the shoulder-launched missile systems and the multipurpose Humvee vehicles.

The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), commonly known as the Humvee, travels as fast as 150 kilometers per hour under different weather conditions and in various geographical climates, and various types of machineguns, rocket-launchers and weapons systems can be mounted on this vehicle.

As the US continues its pullout from Afghanistan, rebels in Syria have failed to make any more advancement and the US, EU, Saudi Arabia and Qatar were forced to soften their tone on the future of the almost two-year-long conflict in the country after they found that the war of attrition has rather worked in the interest of President Bashar al-Assad and his troops.

This, military experts say, has apparently made the US change the war strategy in Syria and open new fronts in the country.

The US and its allies have been sending most of their arms cargos to the rebels through Turkey, which neighbors Northern Syria. Just last week a Libyan member of the al-Qaeda disclosed that France has supplied the rebel and terrorist groups in Syria with Russian Igla anti-air missiles and even trained them how to use these systems.

Louay al-Mokdad, the political and media coordinator for the Free Syrian Army, confirmed that the rebels have procured new weapons donated from outside Syria, rather than bought on the black market or seized during the capture of government facilities. But he declined to say who was behind the effort.

Another coordinator for the Free Syrian Army, whose units have received several cargos of these new arms supplies since in mid-February, said "the goal of the supplies also is to shift the focus of the war away from the North toward the South and the capital, al-Assad's stronghold".

 

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