„Syria’s opposition has hailed rebel advances in the strategic city of Aleppo as a stunning success for ragtag forces, while the international community looked on as 300,000 Syrians suffered a weeks-long siege. But the offensive against President Bashar al-Assad’s troops may have had more foreign help than it appears: activists and rebels say opposition forces were replenished with new weapons, cash and other supplies before and during the fighting.
‚At the border yesterday we counted tens of trucks bringing in weapons,‘ said one Syrian activist, who crosses between Syria and neighbouring Turkey. ‚It’s been happening daily, for weeks … weapons, artillery – we’re not just talking about some bullets or guns.‘ Two other rebels, who, like all those interviewed, asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the subject, described cash and supplies being ferried in for weeks. They and others believe the money and supplies came from regional backers, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and were sent in trucks across Turkey’s border with Syria. This was in spite of the fact that the rebel offensive – dubbed ‚the great Aleppo battle‘ – has been led and organised by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, a jihadi group formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra.“