Saudi prince calls for Syrian rebels to be armed
DAVOS, Switzerland - A senior member of Saudi Arabia's monarchy called on Friday for Syrian rebels to be given anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to "level the playing field" in their battle against President Bashar Assad.
Insurgents in Syria have seized territory in the north of the country and control suburbs to the east and south of the capital, but Assad's air power and continued army strength have limited their advances 22 months into the conflict.
"I'm not in government so I don't have to be diplomatic. I assume we're sending weapons and if we were not sending weapons it would be terrible mistake on our part," said Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former intelligence chief and brother of Saudi Arabia's foreign minister.
"You have to level the playing field. Most of the weapons the rebels have come from captured Syrian stocks and defectors bringing their weapons," he said at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos.
"What is needed are sophisticated, high-level weapons that can bring down planes, can take out tanks at a distance. This is not getting through."