Report: Saudis, Gulf states to boost military support for Syrian rebels independent of US

November 3, 2013 04:18

Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf allies are moving to independently provide military support to Syrian rebels amid what they see as a failure of US leadership in the region, The Washington Post reported on Saturday, citing senior gulf officials.

According to the report, the officials said that they have given up on the US as the coordinator of efforts to arm and train Syrian rebels after Washington decided not to launch air strikes after the use of chemical weapons by Syria, as well as the US decision to engage in diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear program.

"The Saudis plan to expand training facilities they operate in Jordan and increase the firepower of arms sent to rebel groups that are fighting extremist elements among them even as they battle the Syrian government," the paper reported.

The report came as US Secretary of State John Kerry was scheduled to arrive Sunday in Saudi Arabia as part of efforts to repair Washington's frayed relations with Riyadh.

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