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

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video US Landmark Pushes Endangered Species

People gathered in streets, on rooftops in Manhattan to see image highlights that covered 33 floors of Empire State Building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs