UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Syria has accused Israel, the United States, Saudi Arabia and Qatar of running military operation centers in Turkey to support the rebels by overseeing battles in Syria’s 17-month conflict.
In a letter to the U.N. Security Council released on Friday, Syrian U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari also again blamed Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia of “harboring, funding and arming the armed terrorist groups.”
“Turkey has established within its territory military operations centers that are run by the intelligence services of Israel, the United States, Saudi Arabia and Qatar,” Ja’afari wrote in the letter dated August 2.
“Those centers are being used to oversee battles that are being waged by the terrorists against Syrian citizens in Aleppo and other Syrian cities and the massacres the terrorists are perpetrating after entering Syria in large numbers,” he said.
U.S. President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing measures to help the rebels and U.S. officials say Washington is collaborating with a secret command center operated by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to help direct vital military and communications support to rebels.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have killed more than 15,000 people since a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters began in March 2011, some Western leaders say. Damascus says rebels have killed several thousand of its security forces.
Aleppo, which is Syria’s largest city and economic hub, has been battered for days by government artillery, but rebels promised on Friday they will hit back after losing ground as residents fled during a lull in fighting.
“Those shedding tears over what is occurring in Aleppo and demanding that the Security Council should be convened are the very same parties that caused the tragedy through their support of terrorism and arming of terrorist groups,” Ja’afari said.
He said the United States, France, Britain and Turkey were leading a campaign “to alter the balance in the region and force its countries to comply with the hegemonic policies and bend to the will of those Western states.”
Ja’afari called on the U.N. Security Council to pressure those countries to stop supporting, arming and funding the rebels and facilitating their operations.
Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Doina Chiacu