Rebels get supply of surface to air missiles


Rebels fighting to depose Syrian president Bashar al Assad have for the first time acquired a small supply of surface-to-air missiles, according to a news report that a Western official did not dispute. 
NBC News reported Tuesday night that the rebel Free Syrian Army had obtained nearly two dozen of the weapons, which were delivered to them via neighboring Turkey, whose moderate Islamist government has been demanding Assad's departure with increasing vehemence. 
Indications are that the U.S. government, which has said it opposes arming the rebels, is not responsible for the delivery of the missiles. 
But some U.S. government sources have been saying for weeks that Arab governments seeking to oust Assad, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have been pressing for such missiles, also known as MANPADs, for man-portable air-defense systems, to be supplied to the rebels.
This was inevitable after the government forces started attacking rebels with attack helicopters and fixed wing craft.  It is a step short of an outside administered no fly zone.  The limited supply is an attempt to keep al Qaeda from getting a supply with which to attack civilian planes.

The Guardian reports that the rebedls are increasingly using IEDs to attack government tanks.  They are also getting inside information on the avenue of approach allowing them to lay the IEDs where they will do the most damage.


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