France has embarked on providing direct financial and arms aid to insurgent-held areas of Syria and is even supplying anti-aircraft weapons to terrorists fighting Syrian Army forces. A diplomatic source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Wednesday that France has increased its contacts with Syrian armed groups over the past few weeks as it intensifies efforts to weaken President Bashar al-Assad’s government, Russia Today news network reported. He further noted that France is working to develop links between Syria's political opposition, defectors and insurgents. The source added that Paris assistance to Syrian insurgents has already started, and five insurgent commanders in three Syrian provinces -- Deir al-Zor, Aleppo and Idlib -- have received money and arms from the French government.
The report comes as French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius promised last week that such aid was in the pipeline. France has vowed an extra 5 million euros ($6.25 million) to help Syrian armed groups.On August 27, French President Francois Hollande urged Syria's opposition to form a provisional government, promising that France would recognize it in hope of accelerating Assad's departure. "France asks the Syrian opposition to form a provisional government - inclusive and representative - that can become the legitimate representative of the new Syria," Hollande said. “We are including our Arab partners to accelerate this step. France will recognize the provisional government of Syria once it is formed,” he added. Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Damascus says outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists are the driving factor behind the unrest and deadly violence while the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings. The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country and accuses Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey of arming the opposition. MP/JR