'Secret Steps' Adopted to Change Syria Balance

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World powers supporting Syria's rebels decided on Saturday to take "secret steps" to change the balance on the battlefield, after the United States and others called for stepping up military aid to insurgents.

In their final communique, the ministers agreed to "provide urgently all the necessary materiel and equipment to the opposition on the ground, each country in its own way in order to enable them to counter brutal attacks by the regime and its allies and protect the Syrian people".

Speaking in Doha, top Qatari diplomat Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani said the meeting of foreign ministers of the "Friends of Syria" had taken "secret decisions about practical measures to change the situation on the ground in Syria".

Ministers from Britain, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United States attended the talks.

Washington and Doha called for increasing military aid to end what US Secretary of State John Kerry called an "imbalance" in Assad's favor.

Kerry said the United States remained committed to a peace plan that includes a conference in Geneva and a transitional government picked both by Assad and the opposition.

But he said the rebels need more support "for the purpose of being able to get to Geneva and to be able to address the imbalance on the ground".

To that end, he said, "the United States and other countries here -- in their various ways, each choosing its own approach -- will increase the scope and scale of assistance to the political and military opposition".

Sheikh Hamad echoed Kerry's remarks, calling for arms deliveries to the rebels to create a military balance that could help forge peace.

A peaceful end "cannot be reached unless a balance on the ground is achieved, in order to force the regime to sit down to talks," he told the ministers.

"Getting arms and using them could be the only way to achieve peace."

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said London had taken "no decision" to arm the rebels.

On Thursday, the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) said it was already receiving unspecified new types of arms that could change the course of the battle, but also said it needed anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons.

Sheikh Hamad also voiced support for a peace conference but insisted there could be no role in the future government for "Assad and aides with bloodstained hands".

And he accused Assad's regime of wanting to block the Geneva conference in order to stay in power, "even if that costs one million dead, millions of displaced and refugees, and the destruction of Syria and its partition".

On the ground, loyalist forces pressed a fierce four-day assault on rebel-held parts of Damascus, while insurgents launched a new attack on regime-controlled neighborhoods of second city Aleppo.

Government forces were attempting to storm the capital's northeastern district of Qaboon, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, with overnight mortar fire killing three children from the same family.

Battles also raged in the Barzeh, Al-Hajar al-Aswad and Jubar districts of the capital.

In Aleppo, large swathes of which are under rebel control, the FSA command announced the launch of "a battle to liberate several western districts".

Saturday's developments come as the military pushed on with its bid to end the insurgency in and around Homs in central Syria, said the Observatory.

They also come a day after at least 100 people were killed nationwide, it added.

Comments 28
Missing --karim_m1 22 June 2013, 13:35

"We have begun distributing them on the front lines, they will be in the hands of professional officers and FSA fighters."

Are the rebel terrorists who feast on the hearts of corpses also considered professional? LOL.

Missing greatpierro 22 June 2013, 21:50

Karim why are the rebels terrorists?

Missing samiam 22 June 2013, 23:07

because they don't support the persian-syrian-hizb iran alliance....

Default-user-icon From BG with hate (Guest) 22 June 2013, 14:19

Like those FSA officer that was helping 2 al nosra fighters to shoot rocket from ballouneh on the presidencial palace, according to some army sources??????

So nice from them

Missing imamiteslayer 22 June 2013, 16:17

The shia rapists are running scared^^ so much so they are even pretending to be christians online, Josh Bustany hahaahahahahhaha You mean ALI JAAFAR ,

Missing thomas... 23 June 2013, 04:34

imamiteslayer. you remind me of a fellow here on this site about 7 yers ago he use to call himself Qaher..............

Missing helicopter 22 June 2013, 17:52

Are you talking about the Syrian Regime, HA and Iran? I agree with you.

Missing formerlebaniz 22 June 2013, 18:17

It's really starting to get old ok we got it there was an idiot and I'm sure there are several idiots on the FSA side that did atrocities and I am pretty certain that they will face the full brunt of the law soon. However, we haven't been living behind a rock for the past 3 years of the revolution the biggest sadistic gruesome heinous acts came from the Syrian army from raping torturing kids and women to butchering entire families systematically , butchering ENTIRE villages and using the worst killer known to mankind sarin gas. Also, do you remember the guy that used to chant against Assad back in the peaceful days? They removed his throat from his neck and killed him.

Yeah, there are random extremist elements in the FSA but they certainly cannot and will not ever be able to reach the ruthlessness or the insanity of the Assad bunch.

Thumb primesuspect 23 June 2013, 01:43

One man.... One cannibal! Jajajaja he didn't even eat it, he bit it or acted like he did.

Missing helicopter 23 June 2013, 03:23

Of course it is. And so is slashing prisoners with kitchen knives until they can no longer stand up against a wall and then stab them repeatedly on the back of the skull until they die. All the while the perpetrators (HA) yelling vulgarities at them. Let us stop justifying one sides ugly deed by pointing to the other side's equally terrible deeds.

Missing bigjohn 22 June 2013, 19:31

So the friends of Israel and their Arab puppets want to bring more balance of power to the civil war waging in Syria so it could last as long as possible. How about some balance to the Israeli/Arab conflict?

Do they think that the Arab masses especially the Sunni majority ONLY care about fighting the Syrian government? Do they realize that the fire they are escalating will sooner or later BURN THEM!

Thumb whyaskwhy 22 June 2013, 19:36

Amazing the age of the Internet that allows a 12 year old Karim the ability to use up all these aliases to spread hate. Aren't yours missing fast and furious 17 on TV right now?

Missing bigjohn 22 June 2013, 20:10

The worthless Arab puppets seating there with the friends of Israel want "balance in Syria" but ACCEPT inferiority to Israel. Is that what the Arab masses want?

Missing shootingstar 22 June 2013, 20:29

Look at this picture. some dump Arabs that can't govern their own people. they need some body from outside that has been away from politics for about 6 years to tell them what to do.
WHAT A SHAME.

Default-user-icon Israelite (Guest) 22 June 2013, 20:40

We in the uk don't care if you are Christian, Muslim, Druze or any other , to us you are all Arabs, keep fighting, we will give you all the stones you you need at your expense, that way we kill two birds with one stone.
X

Missing greatpierro 22 June 2013, 21:49

Josh you are a primitive Sunni hater. That does not resolve the problem.

Missing samiam 22 June 2013, 23:45

so, are iran or syria funding the poor---

if you want to make a point, don't make it extreme--try to be rational. There are tens of millions of people in the world who don't have enough to eat and corresponding governments who don't give a crap.

Anyhow, welfare is wrong in that it makes people depend on the government when they can get doing things for themselves. Countries which spend a lot on welfare tend to have a lazier populace--look at italy, greece, spain, france and japan.

Missing bigjohn 22 June 2013, 23:57

"people in the world who don't have enough to eat' are lazy?

Thumb primesuspect 23 June 2013, 01:38

Agreed about the welfare

Thumb terminator 23 June 2013, 11:51

japan lazy?

Missing bigjohn 23 June 2013, 00:10

Evidently, you like to be a worthless slave to the friends of Israel and their Arab puppets? Do you really think there is a real future with that or you are li8ke Jumblat who immediatelly jumps ship.

Default-user-icon Moon lord zeitgeist (Guest) 23 June 2013, 05:55

Wake up people! Nobody from both parties want peace. The qatar's and Saudi want the pipeline to go Syria to Europe and thus save the westerns and make more money for the gulf richest. It is pure dollar amount. It is very pity to hear what most people here are stating. I know a Sunnis has to defend his Sunni religion, and a shia3 has to defend his religion and people too. When would you all learn that this is a game played by the rulers, and run by the tools on ground. The problem start being resolved when you accept what the problem is and change it, that is the true revolution, not killing the problem and fellow neighbors to regain another problem and thus the cycle begins. 10 years from now, the western power will be helping th other side, and 30 years they will help is side again ... It's been on and on for 100 of years and the people aren't getting it.

Default-user-icon Moonlord Zeitgeist (Guest) 23 June 2013, 06:02

Japan was defeated by US in WW. They came back and crushed them in every thing fom electronics to cars. Along the Germans. You know why? Because the people united, all of them from different sects and classes. Lets hope one day our poor Arab nations can do the same.

Missing bigjohn 23 June 2013, 06:38

"I'll take a friend in Israel any day before friending the Syrian regime or Iran".....You are like a handful of persons who always comments on Naharnet under several names. IN LEBANON, you are not M14. You can only be an Israeli collaborator or an Israeli enemy. You and helicopter are the one the Lebanes people hate and consider an enemy.

Missing bigjohn 23 June 2013, 06:43

Really? so without the GCC the Lebanese and I guess all Arabs are worthless? What if those GCC Arab puppet dictators get overthrown? Would you still be a slave to the new leaders?

Missing abraham 23 June 2013, 07:11

Min-Canada
you must be a real naïve person
just look around the 3 biggest arab nations have disintegrated in the last decade, the Lebanese and Jordanian economy is in shambleswho benefited from all these, Hello Isreal and Turkey.
The tourism and other aspects of the economy of these 2 nations have skyrocketed in the expense of his once mighty and peaceful arab nations living in harmony

Missing bigjohn 23 June 2013, 07:40

The armed "revolutionaries" in Syria have agreed to sign a written promise to the friends of Israel and their Middle Eastern allies that ALL weapons will NOT be used against the Israelis and the West, but ONLY the rest of the infidels in the Middle East. If the agreement is violated, All shipments will stop.

Thumb terminator 23 June 2013, 11:54

allahumma ini sayim.