Saudi Arabia and the Free Syrian Army


After more than a year of bloody repression, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is beginning to make enemies from outside as well as within the country's borders. We speak to a former U.S. spy who says the Saudis are already funding the opposition Free Syrian Army by paying their wages.

Part Two of The Current

Saudi Arabia and the Free Syrian Army - Robert Baer

The Free Syrian Army was formed last year by a former Syrian colonel determined to overthrow the Bashar al-Assad regime. According to a report by The Guardian, Saudi Arabia hopes to encourage more of these defections -- and turn up the pressure on Damascus-- by paying the wages of the Free Syrian Army.

Robert Baer is a former Middle East CIA field officer. He is also the author of See No Evil and The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower, and he writes a column about intelligence issues for We've reached him in Newport Beach, California.

Saudi Arabia and the Free Syrian Army - Martin Chulov

For a deeper look at the mechanics behind Saudi Arabia's support for the Syrian rebels, we were joined by Martin Chulov, Middle East correspondent for The Guardian. He helped write the report on Saudi Arabia's plans to fund the Free Syrian Army. He was in Beirut.

Saudi Arabia and the Free Syrian Army - Louay Sakka

Louay Sakka is the co-founder of the Syrian Support Group - that's a US-based lobby group that advocates arming the Syrian rebels. He was in our studio in Toronto.

Last Word - Makoon the Black Bear

Today's last word goes to The Current's Shannon Higgins to tell us about a story she's working on... about the fury that's exploded over one little black bear.

Other segments from today's show: