Syrian rebels' backers block arms cache until bickering factions unite
Stockpiles of arms, including anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles, are being held in Turkey for use by rebels in Syria's civil war, but their distribution is being held up because of disunity and feuding between the different groups of fighters, The Independent has learned.
In high-level discussions, Qatari and Turkish suppliers told opposition representatives that heavy weapons would not be made available until the various factions agreed to form a coherent command structure.
After 18 months of fighting and an estimated 30,000 people dead, rebel fighters are convinced that the time for a negotiated end to the conflict is over. But they have been forced back from many areas by tanks, artillery and air strikes. The regime, meanwhile, has not faced any significant shortage of supplies, with US officials claiming that daily flights bearing arms are coming in from President Bashar al-Assad's ally, Iran.