SOME 3,000 tonnes of weapons from the former Yugoslavia have been sent in 75 planeloads from Zagreb airport to Islamist terrorists in Syria, largely via Jordan, since November.
Growing numbers of these weapons, including rocket launchers, recoil-less guns and M79 Osa anti-tank rockets, have been seen in rebel hands in online videos. The shipments were allegedly paid for by Saudi Arabia at the bidding of the USA, with neighbouring Turkey and Jordan assisting in the supply of the weapons.
One report added that weapons also came “from several other European countries including Britain”. US and British allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar have supplied other weapons to Islamist terrorists in Syria via Jordan.
British, French and American military advisers are training rebels in Turkey and Jordan. Foreign Secretary Hague has promised another £13 million of British help for opponents of President Bashar al-Assad, on top of £9.4 million already committed. The Coalition government has amended the EU arms embargo to allow it to provide military equipment including armoured cars and body armour.
As the conflict continues, the opposition is becoming more religious and more extreme. The Coalition government has already let hundreds of British passport-holders, known for their extremist sympathies, travel to Syria to fight against Assad.
As Hague admitted, “Syria today has become the top destination for jihadists anywhere in the world.” He has rejected President Assad’s offer to negotiate.
Hague went on, “We cannot allow Syria to become another breeding ground for terrorists who pose a threat to our national security.” But his policy of building up al-Qaeda as a mercenary force and rejecting peace is creating a breeding ground for terrorists, which he then wants to use to justify direct intervention. ■