JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabia and Qatar are paying salaries to rebel forces fighting in the Syrian revolt against Syrian President Bashar Assad, an Arab diplomat said on Saturday.

"The payment has been going on for months and the agreement was made on April 2 by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with logistical organization from Turkey where some Free Syrian Army factions are based," said the official, who requested anonymity.

"The point of this is to encourage as many factions of the Syrian army to defect and to organize the FSA, control it and prevent any extremist organizations from joining it," he said.

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