Syrian opposition & Co – Freedom fighters or unrestrained criminals?
Prominent western politicians have been advocating the interests of the Syrian opposition since the onset of the conflict, brushing aside the arguments of the Syrian government.
US intelligence operatives and diplomats have reportedly established contacts with Syrian rebels to help organize their ramped up military operations against President Bashar al-Assad's forces.
The CIA and the State Department have both been helping the Free Syrian Army develop logistical routes for moving supplies into Syria from Turkey and providing communication equipment, senior US officials have revealed.
Meanwhile, Turkey has reportedly been hosting units of the Free Syrian Army, providing material and technical support.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar for their part have admitted to paying salaries to the Syrian rebels for several months now.
And the desecration of Christian churches in Syria some two weeks ago was also linked to Western-backed rebels.
After 16 month of fighting between government and opposition forces, over 17,000 have reportedly been killed, over a half of them civilians. The rebels have been accused of using civilian populations as bargaining chips or human shields once they establish a foothold in an area. Syrian citizens have expressed the dire concern that their lives might be put in further jeopardy if the rebels seize power.
Damascus has long accused those allied to the Syrian opposition of further escalating the 16-month conflict that had devolved into a full-fledged civil war.
Bashar Assad has blamed Washington for its complicity in the deaths of innocent civilians by partnering with the rebels.
Syria's President says countries like the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are hindering peace in his country by supporting those he calls 'terrorists'.
“They are top criminals these people; the height of criminality! How do they have the right!” a baker told RT’s Maria Finoshina.
“You feel sad when you find your country destroyed, our country we’ve been building all our lives,” a carpenter sitting on a chair outside his shop shared.
For more on the current situation in Syria, please watch more from RT’s Maria Finoshina