| 02.03,12. 03:22 AM |
Ghalioun: SNC Wants to Organize Delivery of Arms to Syria Rebels
The Syrian National Council wants to organize arms deliveries from foreign countries to Syrian rebels through its new military bureau, its chief Burhan Ghalioun said on Thursday.
"We know that some countries have expressed a desire to arm the revolutionaries. The SNC, via its military bureau, wanted to organize this flow to avoid direct arms deliveries from particular countries," he said.
"The SNC will be this link between those who want to help and the revolutionaries. It is out of the question that arms go into Syria in confusion."
The SNC announced Wednesday it was setting up the bureau to supervise the "armed resistance" against the regime, as Syrian troops launched a ground assault on a rebel-held district of the flashpoint city of Homs.
Ghalioun said the military bureau would bring together the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) and other groups of deserters.
He said both Riad al-Asaad, the head of the FSA, and General Mustafa al-Sheikh who defected to form the "The Higher Revolutionary Council,” had "agreed to be part of this bureau.”
Both men are currently based in Turkey.
"This military bureau will be located as close as possible to the field of action, probably in Turkey," Ghalioun said.
"Its mission will be to see which arms are necessary and for which missions," he said. "We will determine our requests, our needs for arms and we will see which country to get them from.
He said the SNC had not yet received any "precise proposals" from foreign countries on the supplying of arms.
"We do not believe there are currently many arms entering Syria. The FSA's weapons come from within Syria, from the army, and there are also arms sold in Syria," Ghalioun said.
He said some weapons had been coming in from Lebanon but that the border was now almost entirely closed and border areas mined.
Ghalioun insisted arms deliveries were aimed only at protecting civilians from attacks by President Bashar Assad's forces.
"This is about defending civilians, not launching a war. This is about protecting the people's peaceful revolution. That is the defensive mission given to our armed groups."
Ghalioun also said Edith Bouvier, the wounded French journalist believed to be in Homs, was in a safe area on Wednesday but that her situation was unclear on Thursday.
"I had a message yesterday from inside saying that she was in a protected place. I do not know today if she is still in a protected place," he said.