Qatar has supplied the militants in Syria with antiaircraft missile systems to be used against the Syrian army, a report says.
According to a report published by the Washington Post on Thursday, US Middle Eastern intelligence officials said the militants had acquired “as many as 40 shoulder-fired missile systems in recent weeks,” and “at least some” of the weaponry was provided by Qatar.
Recently, there has been a rise in weapons trafficking from Turkey into Syria.
Qatar has provided most of the weapons smuggled to militants in Syria across the Turkish border, the Post stated.
Intelligence officials, who closely track the flow of arms into Syria, say the militants are using the recently-acquired devices with “increasing effectiveness against Syrian helicopters and military jets,” the report added.
Syria has been the scene of unrest since March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the turmoil.
The Syrian government says some Western governments, especially the United States, and their regional allies including the Saudi regime, Qatar and Turkey are fanning the flames of violence in the country.
On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that the US administration “is considering deeper intervention to help push [Syrian] President Bashar al-Assad from power.”
In addition, the French Foreign Ministry said on November 26 that Paris had allocated 1.2 million euros (1.5 million dollars) in emergency aid to the newly-formed Syrian opposition, known as the National Coalition.