News / Middle East

Syria Rebels Appear to Make Big Weapons Seizure

In this screen grab from a video posted to You Tube by Syrian activists, rebels who claim to have captured a government arm depot show crates rockets and other arms.In this screen grab from a video posted to You Tube by Syrian activists, rebels who claim to have captured a government arm depot show crates rockets and other arms.
x
In this screen grab from a video posted to You Tube by Syrian activists, rebels who claim to have captured a government arm depot show crates rockets and other arms.
In this screen grab from a video posted to You Tube by Syrian activists, rebels who claim to have captured a government arm depot show crates rockets and other arms.
Syrian rebels appear to have seized a large number of weapons from a government arms depot near the northern city of Aleppo.
 
Activists posted several videos to YouTube on Saturday and Sunday showing crates of weapons and ammunition they say were seized from the arms depot in the town of Khan Toman.
 
In one video, Islamist rebels loaded dozens of the crates onto a truck. In another, rebels inspected the interior of a seized building containing crates of rockets and other arms.

There was no independent confirmation of the rebel seizure of the arms depot.  Other activist videos posted on YouTube in recent days appeared to show rebels trying to seize the compound.
 
 
Rebels fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have seized large areas of northern and eastern Syria in recent months, including parts of Aleppo and the towns surrounding Syria's commercial capital.  But Assad's forces remain in control of central Aleppo, his power base in Damascus and western regions dominated by his Alawite sect.
 
Syrian rebels have long complained about having inferior firepower compared to government tanks, warplanes and rockets supplied by Assad allies such as Russia. The opposition fighters frequently appeal to Western powers and their Arab partners to send them weapons to even the scale.
 
The exiled opposition Syrian National Coalition is preparing to vote for a prime minister to manage rebel-held parts of Syria. Opposition figures said Sunday the vote is likely to be held in Istanbul on Monday and Tuesday.
 
Favorites for the position include economist Osama Kadi, businessman Ghassan Hitto and former Syrian agriculture minister Assad Asheq Mustafa.
 
Kadi is the founder of the Washington-based research group Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies. Hitto has worked as a communications executive in the southern U.S. state of Texas. Mustafa appears to be the only major contender with experience of serving as a Syrian minister under the Assad family before defecting to the opposition.
 
The Syrian National Coalition hopes forming a rebel government will help bring order to communities freed from Assad's control.
 
Some opposition figures have criticized the group's decision to choose a prime minister, saying it should instead form an executive body to run rebel affairs or agree to a transitional government that includes members of Assad's administration.

Michael Lipin

Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin

You May Like

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jaime from: usa
March 18, 2013 2:10 AM
The man with the light brown beard is Aaron Y. Zelin. Zelin is the Richard Borow fellow at The Washington Institute and also Liason between the the White House and Syrian rebel groups.

by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
March 17, 2013 6:51 PM
Why should the US and EU scared to offer military equipments, while the Syrian opposition forces are already accumulating offensive weapons from the defeated army of Assad in the north and east of Syria. It will be better to provide anti-aircraft guns and missiles and anti-tank weapons to the opposition forces so that they themselves can declare a no-fly zone in Syria, without the direct military intervention of the US, EU and/or NATO. How can the Syrian opposition forces survive if the military airlift of lethal weapons from Iran and Russia continue to flow into the hands of Assad? The US, EU and NATO, the mute spectators of the carnage in Syria by the Assad forces, is to be condemned for inaction. France and Britain is going to break away from the policy decisions of US and EU not to supply lethal weapons to the Syrian opposition forces, while the paper tigers US and EU take a nap, especially Obama and Merkel.
In Response

by: Syria's Pride from: USA
March 17, 2013 7:37 PM
This is BS, no one leaves this kind of fire power, where are the bodies? where are the bases? how did this type of fire power get to a place with no buildings around? who captured it and how? no one will say.. that's because it's all BS.. they want you think they just found this stuffl.. Stop the crime against Syria.. get these morons out of the country, let the goverment's heavy hands deal with them all.

by: musawi melake
March 17, 2013 5:57 PM
It's been a classical story in many such govt. versus insurgent war, that the state(s) that supports the insurgence rutinely supply weapons and instruct the guerrillas to issue statements about capturing govt. weaponary. This is to conceal the backer involments comming into public domain. Yesterday there were talks of Eu supplies and unilateral French supply along with American hand outs of "non leathal weapons", and now we here all these fanfare capture of Assad's arsenal, good! Free-Masons are very good at these kinds of årpåaganda!

by: Nikos Retsos from: Chicago, USA
March 17, 2013 4:33 PM
I don't see how Osama Kadi who is based in Washington D.C. can be a leader of any sort in Syria. If anything, his effort reminds me the American Mahmud Jibril who suddenly became prime minister in Libya after Gaddafi, only to be ousted as a possible U.S. transplanted leader. He was allowed to register a party for elections, but he was not allowed to run himself for office during the election - under an ultimatum by Libyan militia commanders to the Libyan Transitional Council. I expect the same to happen in Syria with any Syrian American returning home to hijack the revolution.

The post-Assad Syrian leadership would be determined by rebel commanders, not by civilian leaders living outside Syria who are sponsored by foreign powers, and are supposedly elected by "councils" of Syrian notables. In a revolution the only notable that matter are commanders in the field, and they would appoint the leadership of the country after Assad meet his fate.

I am sure nobody want to see Syria becoming a 1990's Algeria. The best way to achieve that is to respect the rebels and let them decide the new course of the Syria after Assad. It is their revolution, and it should be their priviledge - not the priviledge of the West, Russia, Iran or the Gulf states! Nikos Retsos, retired professor

by: Wallace J Bradley from: USA
March 17, 2013 4:15 PM
Hopefully this will stop the calls to arm these terrorists. They can arm themselves by taking arms from the Syrian government. Hopefully they will use most of their weapons up killing each other before exporting the remainder to murder people in other countries.
In Response

by: Walton from: USA
March 17, 2013 4:42 PM
These al-Qaeda terrorists will use this weapons cache to murder Americans someday. Assad might not be best for Syria but he's far better than these Saudi-funded Wahhabi terrorists who will murder all religious minorities in Syria and attack US interest in the region.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs