From the Guardian, emphasis mine:
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 that even Gulf Arab governments, which helped arm opposition groups last year, are supplying less with every passing 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 to fund the opposition since the uprising began 22 months ago.
As a result, he said, the fragmented rebel forces have changed strategy, giving up hopes of a sweep through the country, and 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.
The fragmentation of those Syrian rebel forces is a major reason they’ve not seen more money and weapons from their Gulf allies, and Western pressure on those same allies over misgivings about extremist groups who seem to be taking over at the sharp end of the rebellion are another.
All in all, though, it is looking very like a) the expected rapid demise of the Assad regime won’t be all that rapid after all and b) Assad’s fall will hardly be the end of the Syrian multi-factional civil war. There are all kinds of reasons why the West should remain hands off despite the bloodshed – all the alternatives, from choosing factional sides in the post-Assad conflict to the many huge negatives of an Iraq-style intervention, are worse than what is happening now.
This post was read 12 times.