Without US Support Arab States Wont Arm Syrian Rebels

Qatar’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Khaled al-Attiyah

Saudia Arabia and Qatar would like to arm rebel forces in Syria with heavier weapons, but without US support for such a move, they are reluctant to go ahead with their desire.

Officials in Qatar and Saudi Arabia believe that more powerful arms could turn the tide of the present civil war in Syria in favor of the rebels, but the United States fears that those heavy weapons could easily end up in the possession of terrorist groups.

“We are looking at ways to put in place practices to prevent this type of weapon from falling into the wrong hands," an Arab official said.

The bloody war in Syria began almost 19 months ago and has taken the lives of over 31,000 people. Observers believe that without more advanced weaponry the ongoing stalemate will persist, taking more lives and leading nowhere.  As Qatar’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Khaled al-Attiyah put it:

"you can give the rebels AKs, but you can't stop the Syrian regime's military with AKs."

He believes the rebels should be given more powerful arms, but:

"First we need the backing of the United States, and preferably the UN," al-Attiyah added.