Annan: Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey supplied Syrian opposition with money and arms

Vienna, (SANA) Former UN Secretary General and former international envoy to Syria Kofi Annan said Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have supplied the “Syrian opposition” with money and arms.

In an interview with the Austrian Die Presse newspaper, Annan noted that some regional and Western countries rejected the six-point plan which he presented for solving the crisis in Syria because they had differences with the Syrian leadership or with Iran, Russia and China, adding that those countries then formed the so-called “Friends of Syria” group.

He reiterated the need to solve the crisis in Syria by peaceful and political means, expressing his opposition to any form of military intervention.

Annan, who was appointed as UN Special Envoy to Syria in February 2012, highlighted that the Syrian government showed positive reaction to his efforts early in his mission with regard to declaring a limited ceasefire while the other parties rejected that step.

The former international envoy stressed that Iran must be part of the solution in Syria given its great capabilities that allow it to exert an influence in the region and play an objective role to end the crisis, pointing out that Saudi Arabia opposed any Iranian role as it views Tehran as a rival in the regional and international arena.

Annan underscored that what made the US President Barack Obama hesitant to launch any military action against Syria despite pressure by the Pentagon and the US’s Western and Gulf allies was because of the fact that the situation in Syria is totally different from Libya or any other country given its sensitive geopolitical position.

He said that belief matched his visions to end the crisis in Syria peacefully when he told everybody that there could not be a military solution to the “conflict” in Syria, adding that no full agreement on his proposals was reached at the UN Security Council, “and that was why I had to quit my mission as an international envoy to Syria”.

Annan quit his position as an envoy and informed the UN of his intention not to renew his mission, which lasted until August 31 of 2012.

Annan expressed regret that Austria withdrew its forces from the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the occupied Syrian Golan, considering that the withdrawal of some Western states’ forces from Golan reflects these countries’ lack of desire and indifference to solve the crisis in Syria.

Source: Sana

Locals say al-Qaeda used chemicals in Syria :official


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad political and media adviser Bouthaina Shaaban

A senior adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says locals have witnessed al-Qaeda-linked terrorists used chemical materials on people in Latakia and called on the West to wait for investigation results on recent alleged chemical attack in the country.

Assad’s political and media adviser Bouthaina Shaaban rejected the Western allegations accusing the Syrian government forces of being responsible for the August 21 attack on the outskirts of Damascus.

The Syrian official said al-Qaeda was behind the attack just as it was responsible for “killing Syrian people, raping women, [and] kidnapping Christian clerics.”

“On 21st of August, I tell you what the Syrian people say, they (al-Qaeda-linked terrorists) kidnap children and men from the villages of Latakia and they brought them here (in Damascus), put them in one place and used chemical weapons against them… that’s the story that the villagers in these villages know, but why don’t you leave it to the UN commission?” she said.

“The same people who were on the London Tube and who killed British people, the same people who on 9/11 in New York killed American people, they are the same people in Mali, the same people in Libya, the same people in Iraq, the same people in Syria,” Shaaban stated.

She called on the United States and its allies, who have been blatantly issuing threats of war against Syria, to wait for the results of a report by the team of United Nations chemical weapons experts, expected to be completed later this month.

“They are using the same lies, the same fabrications, the same claims, in order to target our country and our people,” Shaaban said, comparing the chemical weapons accusations against Syria to those used to justify the Iraq war, which ultimately proved false.

She further demanded that Washington provide the world with evidence backing its accusation against the Syrian government.

The rhetoric of war against Syria first gained momentum on August 21, when the militants operating inside the country and the foreign-backed Syrian opposition claimed that over a thousand people had been killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds in the Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar.

The Syrian government categorically rejected the accusation.

Nevertheless, a number of Western countries, including the United States, France, and Britain, quickly started campaigning for war.

On Wednesday, the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved a draft resolution backing the use of force against Syria. The draft resolution requires the approval of both chambers of Congress before it can be interpreted as any form of congressional authorization for the US administration to launch an attack on Syria.

Source: Alalam

US to give $130m in military aid to Syria opposition: US official

File photo shows a foreign-backed militant firing towards Syrian government forces in the Syrian city of Aleppo.


The United States is set to give the militants fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad up to USD 130 million in military supplies, officials say.

A senior US State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Saturday that the US Secretary of State John Kerry will elaborate on the details of the US aid to Syria opposition during the meeting of the so-called Friends of Syria group in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

The meeting will take place later in the day and the leading members of the so-called Friends of Syria group including the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar will attend the gathering.

The official also added that the military supplies include body armor, armored vehicles, night vision goggles and advanced communication equipment.

On Thursday, Kerry said the US would continue to aid the militants trying to overthrow the Syrian government, adding “We are working very, very closely with the Syrian opposition.” Continue reading