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Countries Debate Whether to Arm Syrian Opposition

Tony Badran
22nd March 2012 - Quoted by Ben Evansky, Fox News

Tony Badran, a research fellow at the D.C.-based think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), told Fox News that the U.S. was "adamantly against any hint of incorporating a military component to the policy."

"Not only has the administration taken this option off the table for itself, but it has also pressured regional allies such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey against taking such steps on their own," Badran added.

Yet earlier this week, the French news agency AFP quoted a source believed to be a top Arab diplomat as saying Saudi Arabia was sending military equipment to help arm Syrian rebel fighters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Contacted by Fox News for a response, the Saudis declined to comment.

Badran said the report could possibly be interpreted as a warning that Saudi Arabia would "begin arming the opposition after giving the diplomatic track one last chance -- as per the Obama administration's request."

The arming could begin after the second Friends of Syria meeting, he said.

But Badran also said the report could be interpreted as a deliberate leak "designed to deter the Saudis and to sabotage their drive to arm the opposition."

Read the full article here.

Tags

arab-spring, assad, covert-action, syria