Britain equipping Syrian rebels with satellite phones
London, Aug 5 (IANS) British officials are secretly equipping Syrian rebel groups with satellite phones in a bid to topple President Bashar al-Assad, the Daily Mail reported.
The supply of the latest generation of phones is part of the British Foreign Office's mission to mould militias into a coalition capable of governing the Middle East country.
The phones, used by the British defence ministry, are designed for rugged environments and are shock, dust and water resistant, the daily said.
Officials also confirmed the Foreign Office was teaching negotiation and stabilisation skills to Syrian opposition leaders, and advising them on how to address the people and international audiences.
According to military experts, the provision of training and equipment to the Syrian opposition means that British Special Forces are likely to be operating in the country.
Teams from the Special Air Service and Special Boat Service are understood to be based in neighbouring Jordan, and slipping into Syria on missions, the daily said.
"The British government cannot give practical support to the (Syrian) rebels without a presence inside Syria, and any Foreign Office officials seeking to liaise with the opposition leaders would require close protection from Special Forces," said former British Army commander Richard Kemp.
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