Britain: We'll Boost Support for Syria Rebels

Regime's arsenal looks shaky
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2012 10:14 AM CDT
Britain: We'll Boost Support for Syria Rebels
This image made from amateur video accessed Monday, July 30, 2012, purports to show Free Syrian Army soldiers standing near a military tank in Anadan, 10 miles from Aleppo, Syria.   (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video)

With Kofi Annan stepping down from his diplomatic post, Britain is trying to pick up the slack in Syria. Foreign Secretary William Hague today promised more "practical but non-lethal support to the opposition," citing "communications" as an example, Reuters reports. "We don't give up on the diplomacy with Russia and with China. But we will have to do other things as well ... Diplomacy has so far failed the people of Syria."

In what could be more good news for the rebels, observers are citing an array of problems with the Syrian regime's weapons. Much of Bashar Assad's arsenal isn't designed for the lengthy showdown the Syrian conflict has become, the New York Times reports. Technical problems are taking a toll on weaponry intended for battling foreign powers. Meanwhile, just half of the regime's 36 special attack helicopters are functional at any given time. On top of all that, rebels are using Assad's own weaponry against him; their Aleppo arsenal now includes 14 T-72 and T-55 tanks, they say. (More Syria stories.)

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