Saudi prince calls for rebels to be given 'sophisticated' weapons
A senior member of Saudi Arabia’s monarchy called yesterday for Syrian rebels to be given anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to “level the playing field” in their battle against President Bashar al-Assad.
Insurgents in Syria have seized territory in the north and control suburbs to the east and south of the capital, but Assad’s air power and continued army strength have limited their advances .
“I’m not in government so I don’t have to be diplomatic. I assume we’re sending weapons and if we were not sending weapons it would be terrible mistake on our part,” said Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former intelligence chief and brother of Saudi Arabias foreign minister.
“You have to level the playing field. Most of the weapons the rebels have come from captured Syrian stocks and defectors bringing their weapons,” he said at Davos.
“What is needed are sophisticated, high-level weapons that can bring down planes, can take out tanks at a distance. This is not getting through.”
Saudi Arabia has called in the past for the rebels to be armed, but diplomats say that western countries fear arming Islamist forces.