Syria Rebels’ Arms Supplies and Finances Drying Up Despite Western Pledges
Despite widespread pledges of support from western and Arab states, the main Syrian opposition coalition says it has still not seen any significant increase in funding or arms supplies.
Members of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, formed in November, say that there is still no sign of western capitals relaxing their ban on delivering weapons to the rebels and even Gulf Arab governments, which helped arm opposition groups last year, are supplying less each week.
“The supplies are drying up. It is still Syrian expats - individuals - who are providing the funding by and large,” said a Syrian businessman who has helped fund the opposition since the uprising began 22 months ago.
As a result, he said, the fragmented rebel forces have given up hopes of a sweep through the country and are focusing instead on a gradual war of attrition: besieging isolated government military bases to stop the regime using planes and helicopters against them and ultimately to capture weapons, to compensate for the meagre supplies from abroad