Syria opposition expects Western military aid ‘within weeks’

Syrian opposition leader Ahmad Al-Jarba speaks at the United Nations headquarters in July 2013

Western countries will start providing quality weaponry to the moderate Syrian opposition within weeks, the head of the Syrian National Coalition said on Thursday.

Ahmad Al-Jarba told the Saudi daily A-Shraq Al-Awsat that he was encouraged by his meeting with US President Barack Obama in Washington on May 13, claiming that the American government is now “90% convinced of the need to help the opposition militarily.”

The Free Syrian Army, the country’s moderate fighting force, has long argued that an acute lack of quality weapons has caused it to hemorrhage fighters to the jihadist Al-Nusra Front and lose ground to President Bashar Assad’s forces. Earlier this month, opposition fighters withdrew from Homs, Syria’s third-largest city, ceding it to the government.