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Thursday, September 8, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Syria cites Jordanians, Saudis as financiers
of opposition

NICOSIA — Syria has identified what officials described as major foreign facilitators of the revolt against President Bashar Assad.


Officials said the Syrian Defense Ministry has identified Arabs from at least three regional countries believed to be financing or helping organize the massive protests against the Assad regime. They said Jordanians appeared the most active and were being used to attack security forces and civilians.

"There is a lot we are not saying because we don't want an open confrontation with our Arab brothers," an official said.

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Officials said the Syrian security forces have captured Jordanians accused of joining the revolt. In one case, they said, 10 Jordanians were identified as shooting toward civilians in an effort to inflame opposition against Assad.

A Defense Ministry official confirmed that foreign Arab nationals were in custody in connection with the revolt. The official told the Brussels-based International Crisis Group that foreigners from Lebanon and Saudi Arabia were paying Syrians to demonstrate against Assad, particularly in the southern city of Dera, Middle East Newsline reported.

"The Saudis are also pouring money into Dera," the official was quoted as saying. "And there are Lebanese providing slogans and paying people to demonstrate."

Palestinians from several countries were said to be involved in the smuggling of weapons to insurgents in Syria. Officials said Turkey was also helping the insurgents and provided communications to an Islamic force that killed 120 Assad troops in Jisr Al Shughur in late June.

"This was an excellent example of the foreign influence in this campaign," the official said. "The communications and weapons found in Jisr were from Iraq and Turkey and the methods reflected Al Qaida operations in Iraq."

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