Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Greek shares plunge as trading resumes in Athens

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Gulf countries need proof and guarantees'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The deadly French-English border'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Experimental Ebola vaccine could stop virus in West Africa

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#CecilTheLion : Hunter Becomes The Hunted

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Erdogan’s gamble: Turkey launches offensives on PKK and Islamic State Group (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Europe’s shame: Calais migrant crisis deepens (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The River Seine, the lifeblood of the French capital

Read more

FOCUS

Remote learning brings hope to Brazil’s rural poor

Read more

Middle East

US, UK halt aid to Syrian rebels amid Islamist offensive

© afp

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-12-12

The US and Britain suspended non-lethal aid to rebels in northern Syria on Wednesday, a day after the largest Islamist alliance in Syria seized a border crossing and key supply bases from the mainstream rebel Free Syrian Army.

The US and Britain suspended non-lethal aid to rebels in northern Syria on Wednesday, a day after the largest Islamist alliance in Syria seized a border crossing and key supply bases from the more mainstream opposition Free Syrian Army.

The decision came after the Islamic Front – the largest Islamist rebel force in Syria – seized the Bab al-Hawa border crossing and key supply bases from the mainstream rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA).

The Islamic Front also seized several depots belonging to the FSA near the Turkish border on Saturday.

"We have seen reports that Islamic Front forces have seized the Atmeh headquarters and warehouses belonging to the [FSA's] supreme military council and we are obviously concerned," said a spokesman for the US embassy in Ankara.

"Because of the current situation, the United States has suspended deliveries of non-lethal assistance into northern Syria," spokesman T.J. Grubisha said. Aid the United States has provided to Syria’s rebels included armoured vehicles, night-vision goggles and advanced communications equipment.

Britain said that it too had suspended shipments of non-lethal aid, with a spokesman for its Turkish embassy saying the decision was taken because the current situation “remains unclear" and did not mean it was reducing its support for the opposition.

France said it was continuing to provide "non-lethal military aid" to the main opposition National Coalition in coordination with its partners in the European Union.

Grubisha said the US decision to suspend aid would not affect humanitarian assistance, which is coordinated by international and non-governmental organisations including the United Nations.

Gulf states condemn Assad ‘genocide’

Leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in Kuwait City called on foreign militias to withdraw from Syria in a strongly worded statement at the conclusion of its two-day annual summit and accused the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of “genocide”.

The six-nation bloc said it "strongly condemned the continued genocide that Assad's regime is committing against the Syrian people using heavy and chemical weapons".

The Gulf states’ call for "the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Syria" was a clear reference to Iran-backed Shiite militias from Iraq and Lebanon's Hezbollah movement which are supporting Assad's troops against the Sunni-led rebels.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

 

Date created : 2013-12-12

  • SYRIA

    Syria's Islamists unite to form Islamic Front alliance

    Read more

  • HURRIYET DAILY NEWS

    Fresh clashes erupt between Kurds and Syrian Islamists along Turkey border

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Islamists move to take up administration of east Syria

    Read more

COMMENT(S)