Saudi Arabia is reportedly to provide more than 3,000 tons of heavy arms to the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA).
The Saudi government has agreed to do so following a decision by the FSA governing body, the Supreme Military Command, to replace the forces’ overall commander Selim Idriss, the DPA reported on Tuesday.
The kingdom had reportedly suspended its military aid to the Free Syrian Army in November 2013 to protest the way that Idriss had distributed arms from Western countries and Persian Gulf Arab states.
“Idriss was identified as someone we could not work with and we made the strategic decision to suspend all support to the Free Syrian Army until it changed its leadership,” Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic liaison to the FSA told DPA.
“Now we can resume arms supplies in full and as fast as possible,” said the official, who did not wish to be named as he was not authorized to speak to the press.
In a statement posted online, the FSA said it had fired Idriss and named Abdel al-Ilah al-Bachir to replace him as the military chief of the Free Syrian Army, AFP reported on Sunday.
The military coalition, which was established in 2011 to operate against the Syrian government, has been weakened by the deep divisions among its members and its failure to make major gains.
Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011. According to the United Nations, more than 130,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the unrest.