18 July 2013
The Telegraph reported that the UK Prime Minister David Cameron had abandoned plans to arm the Syrian opposition due to warnings by military chiefs.
Senior military figures had reportedly warned the Prime Minister that sending small arms and missiles to the opposition would not have an impact on the turnout of the conflict. They moreover warned that the arms could end up in the hands of extremists thereby harming Britain’s long-term security, while a broader intervention could embroil Britain in a prolonged conflict. However, Foreign Secretary William Hague was reported stating that the UK could still arm the rebels and no option has been ruled out yet.
Source: The Telegraph | David Cameron warned arming Syrian rebels could embroil Britain in all-out war
Source: The Telegraph | Britain could still arm the Syrian rebels, William Hague says
1 July 2013
The New York Times reported on Saturday on the aggressive role taken by Qatar in using a shadowy arms network, involving transit through Turkey, Libyan stockpiles, and Chinese-made shoulder-fired missiles that could, according to warnings by US officials, be used to shoot down civilian aircraft if found at the hands of terrorist organizations.
When supplying the rebels in Libya, Qatar was reportedly giving weapons to Islamic militants, and similar concerns have now been raised with regard to Syria, where the Qatari shipments have enabled the Islamists in the north to become the most capable section of the opposition, the New York Times writes. The small oil-rich gulf state has purportedly taken an outsize role in Syria in order to pursue its interests this ‘backyard’ thereby increasing its influence in the Middle East, without its Western and Arab allies having been able to leverage its policies due to their own strategic alliances with the state.
Source: The New York Times | Taking Outsize Role in Syria, Qatar Funnels Arms to Rebels