Gulf States Will Pay Syrian Rebels, Defectors
Posted on Apr 1, 2012
After an international conference in Turkey, the Syrian National Council said it will receive millions a month in funding from wealthy Gulf nations to pay Syrians who are either rebelling against or defecting from President Bashar al-Assad’s rule.
The BBC reports that the compromise decision by some 70 foreign governments stops short of arming the rebels:
BBC: An SNC leader told the BBC that she hoped more substantial funding would help bind the disparate units of the Free Syrian Army into a more coherent fighting force, and encourage other soldiers to defect from the government side.
Some countries at the conference - notably Saudi Arabia - have been openly calling for insurgents in Syria to be given weapons. But others - including the US and Turkey - oppose the move, fearing it could fuel an all-out civil war. Read more
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking from Istanbul on Sunday, outlined Washington’s commitments emerging from the conference, which include “additional sanctions on senior regime officials, a new accountability clearinghouse to train Syrian citizens to document atrocities and abuses and to identify perpetrators, and more than $12 million in new humanitarian aid, bringing our total to nearly 25 million.” —PZS
Secretary Clinton delivers remarks during the Second Conference of the Group of Friends of the Syrian People in Istanbul, Turkey.