Kuwait Supporting The Most Militant, Anti-West Rebels In Syria


Syrian rebels have a new source of  weapons and cash from inside Kuwait, and their benefactors in the oil-rich state  are sending the aid to the most militant and anti-West factions involved in the  fight to topple Bashar al-Assad.

The role of Saudi and Qatari governments and individuals in the funding and  arming of Islamist fighters in Syria has been well known since the civil war  began more than two years ago. But now, guns and money are flowing from private  sources and Salafist-controlled NGOs based in Kuwait, and they are going to  rebel factions aligned with Al Qaeda.

“We are collecting money to buy all these weapons, so that our brothers will  be victorious,” hard-core Sunni Islamist Sheikh Shafi’ Al-Ajami announced on  Kuwaiti television last month, listing the black-market prices of weapons,  including heat-seeking missiles, anti-aircraft guns and rocket-propelled  grenades.

Days later, Al-Ajami addressed a small throng outside the Lebanese Embassy in  Kuwait and gleefully described slitting the throat of a Shiite Muslim in  Syria.

“We slaughtered him with knives,” Al-Ajami said to shouts of “God is  Great.” “We are collecting money to buy all these weapons, so that our  brothers will be victorious.” – Sheikh Shafi’ Al-Ajami, Kuwaiti parliament member

U.S. and Western officials want aid flowing into Syria to be targeted to less  extreme rebel groups. One concern is that hundreds of European fighters who have  joined the most militant groups, which have links to Al Qaeda and other jihadist  factions, will one day return home from Syria and carry out terrorist acts  against the West.

Among the groups receiving money from Kuwait is the Syrian Islamic Front, an  alliance of eight jihadist groups, which while ready to conduct joint operations  with Western-backed rebels, has refused to join the Free Syrian Army. SIF leader  Hassan Aboud Abu Abdullah al-Hamawi has admitted publicly the alliance has  received funding from the al-Ajami network of donors.

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