TEHRAN, Dec. 14 (MNA) – Islamic militants have taken control of a cache of machine guns intended for Syria’s Western backed rebels; the Syrian opposition announced on Friday and demanded that the weapons be returned.
Syrian National Coalition official Monzer Akbik told reporters in London that it still wasn’t completely clear how a new alliance of hard line Muslim fighters came to control warehouses containing rebel machine guns near border crossing between Syria and Turkey, but they did.
“The reality is that the Islamic Front are holding, now, the hardware,” he said. “They should return it.”
The apparent seizure of rebel weaponry by fighters loyal to Syria’s newly created Islamic Front has dealt a serious blow to the Syrian opposition, which is struggling to maintain international support.
The move has rattled supporters of the Syrian National Coalition — which opposes the rule of Syrian President Bashar Assad — and its military wing, the Free Syrian Army, the Western backed rebel group fighting to topple him.
There are conflicting stories over how the Islamic Front won control of the warehouses. The Islamic Front denies that it took the weapons by force, saying it was responding to a call for help from the Free Syrian Army after the group came under attack from unknown gunmen.
Despite what happened, the opposition was still hoping to include Islamic fighters as part of their delegation to the Geneva peace talks in January, which aim to end the fighting that activists say has killed over 120,000 people in three years.
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