London: France is funding Syria’s armed opposition groups around Aleppo as part of a new push to oust the embattled regime of President Bashar-al Assad, a report has said.
Diplomatic sources have confirmed that large sums of cash have been delivered by French government proxies across the Turkish border to rebel commanders in the past month.
The money has been used to buy weapons inside Syria and to fund armed operations against loyalist forces, the Guardian reports.
According to western and Turkish officials as well as rebel leaders, the influx of money has made a difference in recent weeks as momentum on the battlefields of the north steadily shifts towards the opposition.
The paper said that some of the French cash has reached Islamist groups who were desperately short of ammunition and who had increasingly turned for help towards Al-Qaeda aligned jihadist groups in and around Aleppo.
The French newspaper le Figaro recently reported that French military advisers had met with rebel groups inside Syria, in further evidence of efforts by Paris to step up pressure on President Assad, the paper said.
According to the paper, France has suggested that rebels should be given ‘defensive weapons’ to use against the regime and was the first country to recognise a recalibrated political body as the legitimate voice of the Syrian people.