Syria insurgents to seek advanced arms in US visit

Syria insurgents to seek advanced arms in US visit
Sat May 3, 2014 09:35:47

The head of the Syrian Western-backed opposition in exile is due to visit Washington next week to seek more sophisticated American weaponry for the insurgents and terrorists battling to overthrow the Damascus government, his office has announced.

The next Wednesday visit will take place just weeks after the foreign-backed insurgents revealed a pilot program under which a "Western source" supplied them with 20 US-made TOW anti-tank missiles, with the promise of more if they were used “effectively.”

The office of head of the foreign-based Syrian opposition known as National Coalition forces, Ahmad Jarba, said in a Friday statement that he “will pay an eight-day visit to Washington at the head of a delegation from May 7."

It said he will be accompanied by the new Chief of Staff of its military arm, the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA), Brigadier General Abdelilah al-Bashir.

"He will meet US officials to discuss the supply of sophisticated weapons to the FSA to enable it to change the balance on the ground," the statement added.

According to the statement, Jarba is scheduled to meet US Secretary of State John Kerry, the White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice, American lawmakers in the US Congress as well as the leaders of the country’s dominant Republican and Democratic political parties.

The development comes as British Foreign Secretary William Hague also said on Friday that London intends to resume the delivery of non-lethal aid to Syria insurgents.

Hague, in a written statement to parliament, said $1.7 million worth of communications equipment, vehicles, generators and medical kits will be delivered to the FSA "as soon as is practical."

Syria has been gripped by a foreign-sponsored insurgency war since 2011. An estimated 150,000 people have been reported killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled in part by Western-backed insurgent forces.

According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.


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