Turkey has also allowed the establishment of a command centre in Istanbul which is co-ordinating supply lines in consultation with FSA leaders inside Syria. The centre is believed to be staffed by up to 22 people, most of them Syrian nationals.
The Guardian witnessed the transfer of weapons in early June near the Turkish frontier. Five men dressed in the style of Gulf Arabs arrived in a police station in the border village of Altima in Syria and finalised a transfer from the Turkish town of Reyhanli of around 50 boxes of rifles and ammunition, as well as a large shipment of medicines.The men were treated with deference by local FSA leaders and were carrying large bundles of cash. They also received two prisoners held by rebels, who were allegedly members of the pro-regime militia, the Shabiha.
The influx of weapons has reinvigorated the insurrection in northern Syria, which less than six weeks ago was on the verge of being crushed.....
The plan centres on paying the FSA in either US dollars or euros, meaning their salaries would be restored to their pre-revolution levels, or possibly increased.
The US senator Joe Lieberman, who is actively supporting the Syrian opposition, discussed the issue of FSA salaries during a recent trip to Lebanon and Saudi Arabia...........
The officials, who insisted on anonymity, said the final agreement to move weapons from storage points inside Turkey into rebel hands was hard won, with Ankara first insisting on diplomatic cover from the Arab states and the US.
Turkey is understood to view the weapons supply lines as integral to the protection of its southern border, which is coming under increasing pressure as regime forces edge closer in an attempt to stop the gun-running and attack FSA units...."
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 1:52 AM