Free Syrian Army (FSA) militants are about to go on the Saudi payroll, the country’s officials shared with The Guardian. Riyadh believes this step will encourage defections within the Syrian military in the latest bid to oust President Assad.
Saudi Arabia plans to pay future military deserters in dollars and euros as a counter to the greatly devalued Syrian pound Damascus uses to pay the military. The pound has been falling ever since the anti-regime revolt started 16 months ago.
This decision was reportedly made about a month ago, right around the time the Syrian opposition began receiving armaments and other supplies via the Turkish border. The Guardian says Qatar and Saudi Arabia began supplying the FSA with Kalashnikov assault rifles, anti-tank missiles and RPG in mid-May.