We already know the rebels have a serious Sunni Islamist bent to the point where al-Qaeda’s al-Nusrah Front is carrying out some of the most sophisticated attacks using suicide bombers. On the other hand we are already passively aiding the shipment of weapons from the Gulf Arab states, mainly Saudi Arabia, to the rebels.

(Telegraph) — Syrian rebels have held meetings with senior US government officials in Washington as pressure mounts on the US to authorise a shipment of heavy weapons, including surface-to-air missiles to combat the Assad regime, the Daily Telegraph has learned.

A senior Free Syrian Army representative met in the past week at the US State Department with the US ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford and Frederick Hoff, special coordinator for the Middle East, sources have confirmed.

The rebel emissaries, armed with an iPad showing detailed plans on Google Earth identifying rebel positions and regime targets, have also met with senior members of the National Security Council, which advises President Obama on national security policy.

FSA representatives in Washington have compiled a “targeted list” of heavy weaponry, including anti-tank missiles and heavy machine guns that they plan to present to US government officials in the coming two weeks.

The consultations come ahead of next week’s G20 meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico where British and US officials are expected to make a last-ditch attempt to get the Russian President Vladimir Putin to intervene in the Syria crisis.

Privately, western diplomats admit they now harbour scant hopes of forcing a change of heart on Russia, which has steadfastly refused to bow to US and British pressure to do more to arrest Syria’s slide into sectarian civil war.

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HT: Mark