Telegraph: Syrian Opposition Activists Trained by Britain, US

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An underground network of Syrian opposition activists is receiving training and supplies of vital equipment from a combined American and British effort to forge an effective alternative to the Damascus regime, reported the British Telegraph newspaper.

According to a report it published on Sunday,

“Dozens of dissidents have been ferried out of Syria to be vetted for foreign backing. Recipients of the aid are given satellite communications and computers so that they can act as a local “hub” linking local activists and the outside world.” 

As for the location, “The training takes place in an Istanbul district where handsome apartment blocks line the steep slopes and rooftop terraces boast views over the Golden Horn waterway.”
 

“We are not ‘king-making’ in Syria. The UK and the US are moving cautiously to help what has been developing within Syria to improve the capabilities of the opposition,” said a British consultant overseeing the programme.

“What’s going to come next? Who is going to control territory across Syria. We want to give civilians the skills to assert leadership,” he added.
The schemes are overseen by the US State Department’s Office of Syrian Opposition Support (OSOS) and Foreign Office officials.
America has set aside $25 million for political opponents of President Bashar al-Assad while Britain is granting £5 million to the cause of overthrowing the regime.
The report narrates the story of one on of the program’s gradates.

“Mina al-Homsi (a pseudonym) is one of the first graduates of the training. She now spends her days plotting how to spread seditious messages throughout her homeland through her own network, named Basma.”

“One of its main activities is to repackage video shot by amateurs into a format that can be used by broadcasters,” wrote the report, adding that “the Basma team have had “tens of thousands” of satirical stickers depicting President Bashar al-Assad as a featherless duck for distribution as agitprop.”

Source: The Telegraph, edited by moqawama.org

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