Saudi Arabia sends new arms shipments to terrorist groups in Syria

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Amman, 17/8/2013 – (SANA-H. Said) – Sources form the so-called “Syrian opposition” and Western intelligence and diplomatic sources admitted that Saudi Arabia, in direct coordination with the U.S. intelligence, has recently provided new amounts of weapons to the armed terrorist groups spread in areas in south Syria.

Reuters quoted a source in an armed terrorist group linked to the Western-backed Supreme Military Council as saying that the armed groups have started using Konkurs anti-tank missiles they recently acquired from Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi-financed missile shipments arrived in the last few weeks through Jordan after months of quiet Saudi pressure to prod Amman to open a supply route, according to Reuters.

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Jordanian officials, Reuters said, privately say they are caught between appeasing the Saudis and the danger of reprisals by Assad, who earlier this year warned Amman it “would be playing with fire” if it supported rebels.

The source noted that Saudi Arabia sees it so serious to open “a supply route that helps tilt the balance in our Favor.”

Middle Eastern security, diplomatic and armed groups sources cite the direct role of Prince Salman bin Sultan, a nephew of Saudi King Abdullah and senior security official, in supplying the weapons to the armed groups in Syria.

Salman, Reuters pointed out, heads an operations room in The Jordanian capital Amman with allies, regularly meeting and instructing “top Syrian operatives”.

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The sources stressed that even before the first shipment of Konkurs, “Salman’s pressure on Amman secured the supply of rocket launchers and other lethal equipment,” a step up from previous supplies from Jordan which rebels complained consisted mainly of surplus ammunition and rudimentary AK-47 rifles, according to Reuters.

The new arms shipment followed close Saudi-American-Jordanian intelligence coordination to vet and track weapons to keep them out of “the wrong hands” of Islamist fighters, a regional diplomatic source and an Arab security source told Reuters.

Saudi Arabia’s drive to arm rebels with advanced weapons and break the stalemate on the ground, Reuters said, “was prompted by fear of a Jihadist enclave emerging unless more effective aid was given to bolster the moderate armed opposition who so far still dominate in southern Syria.”

“Riyadh’s deeper concern stems from the impact an al Qaeda enclave just 100 km (60 miles) from its own border with Jordan could have on thousands of young disaffected Saudis,’ Reuters added, according to a Western intelligence operative who monitors Syria.

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