UK to supply Syrian Opposition with 13.25m worth of military aid
http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/382...f-military-aid
THE UK is to supply armoured vehicles and body armour to opposition forces in Syria, Foreign Secretary William Hague told the House of Commons today.
Published: Wed, March 6, 2013
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The-UK-is-to-supply-armoured-vehicles-and-body-armour-to-Syrian-opposition-forces- The UK is to supply armoured vehicles and body armour to Syrian opposition forces Mr Hague told MPs the conflict in Syria, where president Bashar Assad is trying to defeat attempts to overthrow his regime, had reached "catastrophic" proportions. The British Government could not stand aside as Assad used Scud missiles against civilians, Mr Hague added, as he told the House of Commons that the non-lethal equipment could be sent to Syrian opposition forces after EU sanctions were amended.

Mr Hague said the UK's ability to develop its policy should be "unmistakable" to the Syrian regime, adding that there was a danger the country could become a "top destination for jihadists anywhere in the world". There were also risks that the Syrian government could use chemical weapons against civilians, he said, telling MPs there was "credible information" that Iran was providing "considerable military support" to Assad. Mr Hague said that as well as sending armoured 4x4 vehicles and body armour, the UK may send other protective equipment in future and MPs would be kept informed of developments.

The crisis that has reached "catastrophic proportions", Foreign Secretary William Hague said "The Cabinet is in no doubt that this is a necessary, proportionate and lawful response to a situation of extreme humanitarian suffering

William Hague

The Government would spend a total of 13.25m on non-lethal equipment and practical support for opposition forces, he said, including training Syrian opposition forces to detect when chemical weapons had been used. Mr Hague said: "The Cabinet is in no doubt that this is a necessary, proportionate and lawful response to a situation of extreme humanitarian suffering, and that there is no practicable alternative. "All our assistance will be carefully calibrated and monitored as well as legal, and will be aimed at saving life, alleviating this human catastrophe and supporting moderate groups.

"The process of amending the EU sanctions regime in this way was difficult and the decision came down to the wire. We persisted with it because we believe that it is preferable to have a united EU approach. "In our view, if a political solution to the crisis in Syria is not found and the conflict continues, we and the rest of the European Union will have to be ready to move further, and we should not rule out any option for saving lives."