” British and Qatari special operations units are operating with rebel forces under cover in the Syrian city of Homs just 162 kilometers from Damascus, according to debkafile’s exclusive military and intelligence sources. The foreign troops are not engaged in direct combat with the Syrian forces bombarding different parts of Syria’s third largest city of 1.2 million. They are tactical advisers, manage rebel communications lines and relay their requests for arms, ammo, fighters and logistical aid to outside suppliers, mostly in Turkey.
The two foreign contingents have set up four centers of operation – in the northern Homs district of “Khaldiya”, “Bab Amro” in the east, and “Bab Derib” and “Rasta”n in the north. Each district is home to about a quarter of a million people.
The presence of the British and Qatari troops was seized on by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan for the new plan he unveiled to parliament in Ankara Tuesday, Feb. 7. Treating the British-Qatari contingents as the first foreign foot wedged through the Syrian door, his plan hinges on consigning a new Turkish-Arab force to Homs through that door and under the protection of those contingents. Later, they would go to additional flashpoint cities.
On Wednesday, February 8, Erdugan sent Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to Washington to ask for the Obama administration’s cooperation. The Turkish prime minister is also in urgent consultation with Saudi and several other Gulf rulers in the hope of bringing them aboard. ”
Picture: For the 1st time since 1985: PM David Cameron meets the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, on October 26, 2010 in London, UK.
Source: Extracts from DEBKAfile