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 Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora