US and allies ‘considering plans’ for military aid to Syrian rebels

Thursday, February 9, 2012
By Paul Martin

HeraldSun.com.au
February 09, 2012

THE US and its allies were considering giving military aid to the Syrian opposition battling the regime of President Bashar al Assad in an 11-month uprising that activists say has killed more than 6,000 people.

The Pentagon had drawn up contingency plans which could include supplying the Free Syrian Army (FSA) with weapons and establishing a humanitarian corridor to deliver aid to civilians, The Times reported today, citing a US official.

While US officials said they were “scoping out” military options, any plans at the moment were purely “academic.”

Several nations have already been aiding the rebels, with Saudi Arabia providing financial assistance and Qatar supplying them with 3000 satellite phones. Qatar was also giving the FSA night-vision equipment and anti-tank missiles.

The FSA’s logistical coordinator Sheikh Zuheir Abassi told The Times the rebels wanted the West to provide no-fly zones and a haven from which they could safely operate.

“If we were given these two, most of the army would desert and join us,” Abassi said.

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