Saudi Arabia to EU: Arm Syrian rebels

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal allegedly slams Assad's "illegitimate regime."

July 1, 2013 12:13
1 minute read.
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

DUBAI - Saudi Arabia, a foe of Syrian President Bashar Assad, has urged the European Union to arm Syrian rebels without delay, following similar action by the United States.

The European Union lifted restrictions on arming the rebels in May when it

He was referring to Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah forces that have joined in recent fighting alongside Assad's military, notably spearheading the capture of the border town of Qusair.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ... refers to the EU resolution to lift the ban on arming the Syrian opposition, and calls for the implementation of this resolution in light of the grievous realities on the ground in Syria," Prince Saud said.

Gains by Assad's forces and Hezbollah's involvement have prompted the United States to promise the rebels military aid beyond the non-lethal equipment it had previously supplied.

The New York Times reported in June that the supplies, to be coordinated by the CIA, might include anti-tank weapons.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been the most active Arab nations in backing the mostly Sunni Muslim Syria rebels.

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