Conflict & Justice

Washington Inches Closer to Arming Syrian Rebels


(Photo: Obeida Nahas/Facebook)

The US, Britain and several Arab countries moved a step closer to direct intervention in Syria this weekend. The "Friends of Syria" agreed to send millions of dollars in support to the Syrian opposition at a meeting in Istanbul.

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This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

The Obama administration pledged communications equipment, as part of the $25 million package they're offered so far. Arab nations promised $100 million dollars to pay salaries to opposition fighters.

Obeida Nahas is a spokesperson for the opposition Syrian National Council. He's in Istanbul where he attended the meeting this weekend.

Nahas says he's pleased with Washington's promise to supply the rebels with communication gear. But he says the international community must do more, given Iran and Russia's efforts to prop up the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. He says he's disappointed with the United Nation's accomplishments so far.

"The Kofi Annan mission should not be a way to manage the crisis," Nahas says. "It should be a way to finish this crisis, which means we have to see the back of Bashar Assad and his guys. It's a matter of pulling the plug of support that the regime is getting from outside."