Saudi Arabia is Arming the Free Syrian Army
March 19, 2012 • 9:03AM

According to a top Arab diplomat, as reported by AFP, "Saudi military equipment is on its way to Jordan to arm the Free Syrian Army. Details will follow at a later time."

The announcement came two days after Saudi Arabia said it had shut down its embassy in Syria and withdrawn all its staff. It also followed a brief meeting on the Syrian crisis last week between Jordan's King Abdullah II and the Saudi monarch King Abdullah in Riyadh.

Earlier this month, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal publicly defended the right of the Syrian opposition to arm itself.

"It is the right of the Syrians to arm themselves in order to defend themselves. Weapons used to target homes are used in wars with enemies," he said.

Last week, Syrian Information Minister Adnan Mahmoud told AFP that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were backing "armed terrorist gangs" operating in the country and were therefore responsible for the resulting bloodshed.

"Some of the countries backing armed terrorist gangs, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are accomplices to the terrorism targeting the Syrian people... and bear responsibility for the bloodletting," he said.

Those charges were renewed on Syrian state television on Saturday after two huge bomb blasts killed at least 27 people and wounded almost 100 in central Damascus.

The Jordanian government on Saturday denied the report that it was allowing Saudi weapons to transit its territory to help the rebel Free Syrian Army fight Syrian government forces.