Syrian rebels now have heavy weapons: UN peacekeeping chief

Published: August 3, 2012

A Free Syrian Army member runs after hearing shelling at Aleppo's district of al Sukkari. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

UNITED NATIONS: The head of the United Nations peacekeeping department confirmed on Thursday that Syria’s rebels have heavy weapons, although he said the UN had no proof the opposition had used them against government forces.

“We know for a fact that the opposition does have heavy weapons,” UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous told reporters. He gave no details on where the arms had come from, but said such weaponry included tanks and armored personnel carriers.

UN officials and diplomats say the rebels have been capturing weapons from Syrian soldiers they have overrun in parts of the country where they have gained an upper hand.

Ladsous said he had no proof the rebels had used heavy weapons against the army, which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has deployed for 17 months against an increasingly militarized opposition determined to oust him.

In Syria on Thursday, the fight intensified for Aleppo, the country’s second city, as rebels turned the gun of a captured tank against government forces, shelling a military airbase north of the city.

Reader Comments (2)

  • Ali
    Aug 3, 2012 - 3:37PM

    yeah yeah they captured them from syrian army..and not supplied by the west/Israel. They think the whole world is as dumb as American nation

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  • j. von hettlingen
    Aug 4, 2012 - 4:41PM

    It’s time for the rebels to lay their hands on heavy weapons, or else it would just be impossible for them to beat Assad’s conventional army. As the regime forces have lost control of the border region next to Turkey, there’s free flow of fighters and weaponry into Syria.

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