'Friends of Syria' move to arm, pay rebels

More than 70 countries and the Syrian opposition met in Istanbul over the weekend with many nations pledging more than $100 million dollars in aid to the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The US will supply communications equipment to the rebels and the political opposition so that they can talk to each other, as well as get messages past President Assad's censors and out to the world. Much of that aid will go to paying the fighters of the FSA. And some of the Gulf states have pledged to supply small arms and other military support to the rebels. New York Times: The moves reflected a growing consensus, at least among the officials who met here this weekend under the rubric "Friends of Syria," that mediation efforts by the United Nations peace envoy, Kofi Annan, were failing to halt the violence that is heading into its second year in Syria and that more forceful action was needed. With Russia and China blocking United Nations measures that could open the way for military action, the...(Read Full Post)