Sudan Supplies Arms to Syrian Rebels

    Syrian rebels head to the town of Bsankol in the northwestern province of Idlib to join comrades fighting regime forces for the control of the highway that connects Idlib with Latakia on July 11, 2013. Simmering hostility between Syria's mainstream rebels and jihadists has erupted into naked violence, with a Free Syrian Army commander in the coastal province of Latakia being shot dead by an Al-Qaeda front group. AFP PHOTO/DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS        (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

    Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty

    This answer to that pesky question of how those Syrian rebels were getting weapons: a report in Tuesday’s New York Times claims that Sudan is supplying arms to them, despite Sudan’s international embargo and its close ties to Iran, a backer of Bashar al-Assad. The deals have not been made public, and Sudan denied supplying any weapons—although Western officials and Sudanese rebels both confirmed it. Sudan has a history of supplying arms to rebel groups and then denying it.  According to the report, the weapons were sold to Qatar and were delivered to the rebels through Turkey. The deal included shipments of Sudanese- and Chinese-made missiles and newly manufactured small-arms cartridges. Although Sudan has ties to Syria’s Sunni community, Sudan still maintains close diplomatic ties to Iran and China—both of which have been supporters of the Syrian government.

    Read it at The New York Times