UK secretly training Syrian rebels against Assad?
London: British officials are secretly equipping Syrian rebels with satellite phones in a bid to topple President Bashar al-Assad.
The supply of the latest generation of handsets is part of the Foreign Office`s mission to mould militias into a coalition capable of governing the country.
The phones, used by the Ministry of Defence, are designed for rugged environments and are shock, dust and water-resistant, the Daily Mail reports.
Whitehall sources also confirmed that the Foreign Office is teaching negotiation and ``stabilisation`` skills to opposition leaders, and advising on how to address the Syrian people.
According to military experts, the presence of Foreign Office officials and the provision of training and equipment to the opposition mean that British Special Forces are likely to be operating in Syria.
"The UK Government cannot give practical support to the rebels without a presence inside Syria, and any Foreign Office officials seeking to liaise with the opposition leaders would require close protection from Special Forces," ex-British Army commander Richard Kemp, a former member of the Government`s Joint Intelligence Committee, said.
It said Iran`s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi spoke on the phone with Turkish and Qatari foreign ministers and demanded their intervention to help release them.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Afzal Guru row: JNU Students' Union president Kanhaiya Kumar arrested
- Missing girl from Ghaziabad, Dipti Sarna returns; reunited with family
- DNA: Analysis on actions taken against students protesting at JNU
- DNA: Analysis on actions taken against students protesting at JNU - Part II
- Watch: How students at JNU showcased anti-India spirit! - Part II
- Kumar Vishwas' birthday bash: Ajit Doval, BJP and RSS leaders attend; Arvind Kejriwal missing
- Afzal Guru row: JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar arrested by Delhi Police
- Snapdeal employee Dipti Sarna reaches home, police and family remain tight-lipped over her recovery
- Was abducted, blindfolded for four hours; Snapdeal employee Dipti Sarna narrates her ordeal
- Fitoor movie review: Tabu overpowers, Katrina Kaif, Aditya Roy Kapur leave a lasting impact!