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Arms supplies, funds for Syrian rebels ‘drying up’ despite West’s promises

Arms supplies, funds for Syrian rebels ‘drying up’ despite West’s promises London, Jan 5 : Syrian opposition coalition has said that it has not seen any significant increase in funding or arms supplies, despite widespread pledges of support from western and Arab states.

Members of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, formed in November, said that there is still no sign of western capitals relaxing their ban on delivering weapons to the rebels and even Gulf Arab governments.

A Syrian businessman, who has helped fund the opposition since the uprising began 22 months ago, pointed out that the weapon `supplies are drying up'.

As a result, he said, the fragmented rebel forces have given up hopes of a sweep through the country and are focusing instead on a `gradual war of attrition', the Guardian reports.

He said that rebels are besieging isolated government military bases to stop the regime using planes and helicopters against them and ultimately to capture weapons, to compensate for the meagre supplies from abroad.

Opposition groups claim to be close to overrunning a regime helicopter base near the northern town of Taftanaz, in Idlib province, posting a video online purporting to show a captured tank firing at government armoured vehicles and helicopters inside the perimeter walls of the base.

According to the paper, as it has become increasingly clear that large-scale external assistance is unlikely to materialise, many locally-based rebel groups have found ways of sustaining themselves militarily and financially, but have largely given up hoping for a sudden breakthrough. (ANI)