"(Reuters) - Syrian rebel success in capturing government armories is rendering increasingly irrelevant Western efforts to limit supplies from abroad and avoid sophisticated arms reaching Islamist militants.
Western nations, particularly the United States, remain highly nervous of
weapons falling into the wrong hands, while even Saudi Arabia and Qatar - by far the two most enthusiastic
rebel backers - appear to have cut back support in recent weeks.
Opposition forces clearly hope the creation last week of a new unified
military council and the growing number of foreign powers recognizing them as
the legitimate government of Syria will lead to swiftly renewed support and new
Even without that, however, the capture of a growing number of bases from
forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad increasingly obviates the need for outside
support. Meanwhile, resentment simmers over what many rebels see as yet more
Most of the heavier weapons - including truck-mounted anti-aircraft machine
guns that have made it significantly harder for government aircraft to strike
rebel targets - were taken from Assad's forces.
Those weapons may be one reason why government forces have begun using
Scud-type ballistic missiles to strike rebel areas, not risking helicopters or