Qatar, Saudi Arabia Reportedly Paying Militants Monthly Salaries

News Brief — June 7, 2014

Members of the 'Free Syrian Army'. Click to enlarge

Members of the ‘Free Syrian Army’. Click to enlarge

New reports have surfaced that fuel further suspicions about who is behind militants in Syria. It has been pretty firmly established now that many if not most of the forces fighting the Syrian Army are not even Syrian, although the Western media hasn’t devoted much coverage to this.
A mixed bag of Sunni militants have been drawn to the conflict. Many have come from the Caucasus, while others have arrived from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Gulf Arab states.
Some of the worst atrocities have been blamed on Jihadists who have travelled from Britain, while others have joined them from France, Germany and Belgium.
Until recently some 34 militant groups were reportedly centred around Fallujah, where they carried out attacks on government buildings, officials and civilians. In addition to fighting in Syria, the militant groups also launched attacks in Iraq and other nearby states.
However, recent Syrian Army gains have substantially reduced the militants hold in the area.
The recent upsurge in violence in Iraq, some of the worst seen since the U.S. led invasion, was attributed to Sunni militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The ISIL is fighting to establish a Sunni state in what is now Syria and adjacent territories. To this end the U.S. has reportedly been involved in training militants to assist in the overthrow of Syrian President Assad.
Militant recruits reportedly underwent training at a Qatari base near the border with Saudi Arabia, where “U.S. instructors” allegedly drilled them in weapons handling and combat techniques.
In addition to receiving basic military training the recruits also reportedly received a regular monthly salary of $700 US dollars paid by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The regular salary to Free Syrian Army fighters was reportedly paid in the hope that it would encourage defections from forces loyal to Syrian President Assad.
Given the recent military advances by the Syrian Army however, that policy doesn’t seem provided a rich return though.
Instead, the ISIL foothold has been slipping to the point where its forces are effectively now in retreat. A fact that was further emphasised by President Assad’s recent election victory.

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