Conflict & Justice

Syria: Jordan denies allowing Saudi arms to reach rebel Free Syrian Army


A boy waving the pre-Baath flag adopted by the Syrian anti-regime opposition is pictured before Turkish police stopped members of a “Freedom Convoy” who tried to enter Syria from outside the Turkish city of Kilis on Thursday.



The Jordanian government on Saturday moved swiftly to reject media reports that it was allowing Saudi weapons to transit its territory to help the rebel Free Syrian Army fight Syrian government forces.

The Jordan News Agency announced that government spokesman Rakan al-Majali had given an interview to United Press International saying such reports were baseless.

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Earlier this month, the Saudi government had hinted that it would not oppose arming the rebels: Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal gave a rare televised news conference and said in strong terms that Syrians had the right to take up arms against the central power in Damascus, according to The Associated Press.

The Agence France-Presse news agency reported today that “an Arab diplomat” had said Saudi weapons were on their way to the rebels via Jordan.

"Saudi military equipment is on its way to Jordan to arm the [rebel] Free Syrian Army," the unnamed diplomat was quoted as saying on condition of anonymity. "This is a Saudi initiative to stop the massacres in Syria."

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According to AFP, the US has said it fears Iranian cargo flights passing through Iraqi airspace could be carrying arms shipments for the regime of Bashar al-Assad to continue fighting the rebels.

But AFP reported today that Iraq said it would not permit such flights.

UN Syria envoy Kofi Annan is pursuing efforts to install monitors to oversee a theoretical cease-fire.

Thousands of anti-government protesters on Friday called for foreign military intervention to bring down al-Assad and his government.