Syria conflict: UK to give extra £5m to opposition groups

Hague: “Aid would include medical supplies, communications equipment and body armour”

10 August 2012 Last updated at 15:06

Foreign Secretary William Hague says the UK’s commitment of an extra £5m in non-lethal equipment to Syrian opposition groups is “the right thing to do” and will “help save lives”.

The help for unarmed opposition members will include medical supplies and radio and satellite equipment.

But it will not include weapons and is in addition to £27.5m humanitarian aid.

The BBC’s James Robbins says the move is a significant shift in policy after frustration about Syria’s opposition.

Aside from concerns about divisions within the opposition, there have also been complaints that it has failed to set out a clear programme for good government, our correspondent added.

Speaking at a press conference, Mr Hague said the funding would go to “unarmed opposition groups, human rights activists and civilians” and that Britain was speaking to people from the political arm of the Free Syrian Army, an armed rebel group which is opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.

Attempts to oust President Assad have led to 17 months of unrest, during which activists claim more than 20,000 people have died.

However, reports of casualties often cannot be independently verified.
‘Terrible conflict’

The UK is also telling opposition forces they must observe human rights standards.

Syrian people need “urgent help” and “cannot wait indefinitely” for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, Mr Hague said, describing them as being at the “mercy of a regime that is hunting down its opponents”.

The UN Security Council, which meets again at the end of this month, has a responsibility to “stop the bloodshed”, he said.

Mr Hague said the money “will help people caught up in a terrible conflict. It will be delivered in co-ordination with other countries. It is the right thing to do, while not pausing for a second in our efforts to secure the united robust diplomatic action which this crisis demands.”

The money will be spent on medical supplies such as trauma kits, surgical equipment, medicines and water purification and to assist local doctors with the means to gather forensic evidence for any potential trials in future.

The communications equipment includes mobile and satellite phones and radar equipment. The Foreign Office says it will help protect activists overcome the Syrian government’s jamming and blocking techniques.

The foreign secretary added that body armour would be provided for civilians who were involved in the protection of others.

Mr Hague, who has also described the Assad regime as “doomed”, said it remains British policy not to send arms to Syria.

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner says the UK has been quite vocal at the UN but reluctant to get involved on the ground in Syria.

But the latest announcement is a realisation that the situation will continue to get worse if it does nothing, he added.
Military support

Former British foreign secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, says the government should be doing more in Syria.

“The way in which you have to act is to actually take the very difficult decision of providing military support to the insurgents,” he said.

“That way you may enhance the conflict in the short term, in the longer term you’re more likely to save thousands of lives.”

The extra practical support for the opposition FSA will include more radio and satellite equipment

The UK had previously made £1.4m available in “non-lethal support to the political opposition” in Syria which included training and assistance to human rights groups.

The £27.5m in humanitarian aid is for food, medical care, water sanitation and shelter in Syria, as well as for Syrian refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries.

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell had announced this week that the amount of assistance being given to the refugees was being quadrupled.

It follows on from £18.4m in UK humanitarian assistance to Libya during the uprising against Colonel Gaddafi last year. This included supplying shelter for both refugees and those made homeless, supporting mine clearance and also helping the World Health Organization to provide medical care.


  • Wake up people, the British ruled by New Jerusalem (City of London Corp) are trying to take over and destroy a Sovereign independent Nation of land in the Middle East for King Juan Carlos of Spain the Protector of the Holy Sites of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. This must not happen and Vladimir Putin and the Chinese leader must step up to the plate now and put and end to this imperialism once and for all. Russia and China must aim their nuclear arsenal at New Jerusalem in Great Britain and destroy the heart of the hidden Roman Empires command power. Its time these priesthoods and their pirate merchants were put in their place.

    You do not attack sovereign Nations, you do not stir up trouble in Nations to suit your own imperialism and New World Order takeover. Yes its time for a New World Order a NWO which does not involve the ancient pirates of the Livery and their commanders. We want a free World Order for God and his men on the land. We want a World which is a Republic under God modelled off the original united States of America pre-1861. Its time Washington D.C., Vatican City and New Jerusalem (City of London) were destroyed and replaced with a free and open system and a quality global constitution.

    Please Russia and China do the right thing and destroy the evil powers at the heart where the meat & potatoes lies. Lets see the mighty Vladimir Putin help humanity after all these same pirates have tried to assassinate Putin twice.

    Syria is being attacked by the West using Al-Qaeda which is an outright contradiction to the War on Terror do you not think? One minute you are told that Al-Qaeda is the enemy of the World. Your freedoms are being lost daily due to spin about Al-Qaeda. For what? So the West can use Al-Qaeda against Sovereign Nations like Libya and now Syria. Does this sound right to you? All because of New Jerusalem and its twisted demented puppets in Jesuit Washington D.C. such as John McCain and Hillary Clinton. Its time they were placed under arrest for High Treason on America. No we will not stand for this imperialism anymore you are criminals and must be dealt with as the pirate criminals you really are. Crown Agents and the Livery system of New Jerusalem has to be highlighted and destroyed once and for all. These pirates have caused havoc for centuries non-stop.

    Al-Qaeda was set up by the daughter-in-law of the Marcy family based in Chicago. Kristine Marcy was trained at Jesuit Georgetown ‘hidden Military Fortress’ University. She created Al-Qaeda through her Senior Executive Service via the U.S. Small Business Administrations 8(a) program. Al-Qaeda is nothing more than a tool of military intelligence in order to create the New World Order of greed, control and destruction. A NWO which desires a population reduction of sixty-five percent of the globe by 2050 and another thirty-five percent of the surviving populace by 2100 through the Club of Rome in accordance with the Global 2000 Report desires. Why do you think people are coming down with cancer as if its a cold these days? Wake up!

    -= The Unhived Mind

    • King Juan Carlos of Spain rules the Middle East and North Africa using one of his Roman Empire arms known as the Union for the Mediterranean. Libya was destroyed to stop Gaddafi freeing the Middle East from the debt control of The Worshipful Company of Mercers. That was the meat & potatoes why Gaddafi was destroyed violently, he went one step further than Saddam and tried to destroy the debt monopoly currency outright in the region. Gaddafi also did not have a central bank attached to the Mercers and he also was trying to set up an irrigation system to feed the region independently of strings-attached GMO poison Western food aid. He was building quickly an irrigation system flowing from the third biggest water aquifer in the World which the pirates of the Livery desire for their blue gold theft (UN Proposition 21) through the St Lazare Foundation connected once again the King Juan Carlos and Vittorio Emanuele IV papists. Oh and lets not forget his most excellent light-sweet crude oil the best in the World. The Worshipful Company of Fuellers desired his oil as a buffer in case of the Strait of Hormuz being closed by Iran.

      Do not believe the Western media propaganda, it is complete lies. Just remember the WMD lies about Iraq by propagandist Hill & knowlton a MI6 front company. The Fuellers attempted to plant WMDs in Iraq using the American-Turkish Council headed by CIA death squad killer Richard Armitage. That plan failed and ended up with deaths of agents on both the good and bad sides.

      Vladimir Putin you must do the right thing and destroy this ancient pirate power. Will you Putin step up and become the greatest leader of all time and take on the biggest hidden power in World? Do you have the balls Vladimir? You have your hidden scalar weather weaponry and Russia has always been the pioneer in this hidden weapon arena. Weaponry so advanced and dangerous they make nuclear weapons look like Barbie dolls in comparison. Its time to forget the Space Preservation Act! You have your nuclear arsenal Vladimir. You have the intelligence which is lacking from the rest of the World leader puppets selected and placed in power by New Jerusalem (City of London). The people of the World and its land (not ocean pirate merchants) call on you to do the right thing.

      The Livery pirates slaughtered Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy and Muammar al- Qaddafi, they murdered Saddam Hussein and desire the same fate for Bashar al-Assad. They have imprisoned Roger Hayes of the British Constitutional Group. When you get in the way of The Worshipful Company of Mercers and their pirate economics this does not sit too well. Everyone around the World should study The Lawful Bank by Roger Hayes and copy it in your Nation. Its time the people moved away from these banking families like Pallavicini, Nattino, Warburg and Rothschild. The same cretins buying up all the broke businesses using private-equity companies like Warburg Pincus and the Carlyle Group.

      -= The Unhived Mind

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