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Published on Oct 4, 2013

This footage from August 21, 2013 shows a Saudi jihadist from al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front) in Syria sitting in the back of a truck taking pride in beheading a young Syrian conscript, claiming that his victim was Alawite, since his military service card did not show “Muslim” on it. Unlike Saudi Arabia, Syria does not mention religious affiliation of people on their ID cards. The cameraman’s accent indicates that he is also Saudi.

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File:Flag of Jabhat al-Nusra.jpg

Image Source  :  Wikimedia . Org

by  أبو بكر السوري

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BEIRUT: Some Saudi Arabian-supplied anti-tank missiles intended for mainstream Syrian rebels have inadvertently landed in the hands of the Al-Qaeda linked Nusra Front, throwing plans to arm moderates via neighbor Jordan into question.

The failure of the pilot plan has forced Western and Arab opposition backers to reconfigure efforts to arm and vet moderate opposition types, and shift these efforts to the northern, Turkish border, The Daily Star has learned.

Senior Free Syrian Army and Jordanian sources, along with video evidence, have confirmed that European-made anti-tank missiles were obtained, and in some cases sold, to the hard-line Nusra Front after being supplied to vetted Free Syrian Army battalions across the Jordanian border.

The debacle prompted Jordan to back away from arrangements to arm moderate rebels, and close its borders in May.

The plan to train and arm moderate rebels via Syria’s southern border gained Western and Saudi support earlier this year, as concerns mounted over gains by Bashar Assad’s forces, backed by his Lebanese ally Hezbollah, as well as the proliferation of hard-line Islamist rebel brigades.

Special Forces personnel from the United States and the United Kingdom are known to have conducted training operations for vetted opposition troops.

An investigation by Reuters revealed that Saudi Arabia began transferring small numbers of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles to Syrian rebels under the command of Gen. Salim Idriss, the chief of staff of the FSA, through Jordan in March.

The supply was reportedly coordinated by Saudi Arabia in consultation with France and Britain.

But Jordan, weary of the presence of Islamists at home, voiced concern over plans to arm the rebels, fearing that the weapons might end up in the hands of radicals, further jeopardizing Jordan’s security.

Jordan’s foreign minister, Nasser Judeh, cast doubt early on about the ability to properly vouch for rebel elements.

“Our position was always, arming who? And do we have addresses and do we have CVs? … We are a country that neighbors Syria, and therefore, while we don’t interfere in the internal affairs of Syria, we are certainly affected by the outcome of what’s going on in Syria,” Judeh told reporters, in response to questions about arming the rebels, during a joint news conference with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Amman in May.

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