Iranian envoy: Halting arms shipments to rebels vital for ending Syrian crisis

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran’s Ambassador to Lebanon Qazanfar Roknabadi warned that the western and some regional states’ arms aid to the Syrian rebels will have dire consequences for regional peace and stability.

Speaking at a meeting with the Heads of Representative office of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) in Syria and Lebanon, the Iranian diplomat Roknabadi said that the first logical and practical step toward settling crisis in Syria is imminent halting of financial and military support of foreign countries for armed groups in Syria.

Roknabadi and other participants in the meeting underlined necessity of maintaining stability and security in Lebanon and collective effort to stop spreading Syrian crisis consequences to Lebanon.

Syria was hit by a violent unrest since mid-March 2011, where the Syrian government accuses foreign actors of orchestrating the conflict by supporting the militant opposition groups with arms and money.

Early in March, a ranking member of the US marine troops deployed in Afghanistan told FNA that the Pentagon made the decision to send a major part of its light and semi-heavy weapons systems and military equipment to the Syrian rebels along with its pullout from Afghanistan when the former US Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, was still in office.

“The decision to send our arms and weapons systems in Afghanistan to the rebel groups in Syria was originally made when the former US Secretary of Defense was in his final days of office, yet the Pentagon has also received the approval of the new Secretary, Chuck Hagel, as well,” said the source who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of his information.

“One of these cargos consists of the light and semi-heavy military tools, equipment and weapons that the US army has gathered and piled up in Kandahar Base and plans to send them to the rebels in Syria in the form of several air and sea cargos and through Turkey and specially Jordan,” he explained.

“These weapons and arms systems include anti-armor and missile systems, rocket-launchers and rockets and tens of armored Humvees,” the source added, explaining that senior war strategists in the Pentagon believe that they can change the scene of the war in Syria in the interest of the rebel groups with the help of these cargos, specially the shoulder-launched missile systems and the multipurpose Humvee vehicles.

The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), commonly known as the Humvee, travels as fast as 150 kilometers per hour under different weather conditions and in various geographical climates, and various types of machineguns, rocket-launchers and weapons systems can be mounted on this vehicle.

As the US continues its pullout from Afghanistan, rebels in Syria have failed to make any more advancement and the US, EU, Saudi Arabia and Qatar were forced to soften their tone on the future of the almost two-year-long conflict in the country after they found that the war of attrition has rather worked in the interest of President Assad and his troops.

This, military experts say, has apparently made the US change the war strategy in Syria and open new fronts in the country.

By Fars News Agency

 

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