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Anti-government armies in Syria plan for spring offensive

Feb. 18, 2014 at 5:05 PM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Military showdowns are being prepared in Syria, rebel leaders say, after regime and opposition representatives failed to reach consensus in talks last week.

Anti-government spokesmen in southern Syria say a spring offensive against Damascus, the capital, is planned, which will include fighters trained in Jordan by Western forces. The added the Syrian army is moving troops to the border between Syria and Israel and is accelerating the shelling of rebel positions in Daraa province, on the border with Jordan, the news agency Middle East Online reported Tuesday.

"Daraa is the gateway to Damascus. The battle for Damascus starts here," said rebel commander Abdullah al-Qarazi, a former Syrian army officer, adding "We only have guarantees [for acquisition of weapons] from the countries that support" the revolt against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The Wall Street Journal reported backers of the revolt from gulf states were preparing to deliver shoulder-fired missiles and other weapons to the rebels.

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