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Syria Crisis: Saudi Arabia, Qatar Reportedly Paying Salaries To Syria Rebels

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In this Thursday, June 7, 2012 photo, members of the Free Syrian Army hold their weapons during a training session on the outskirts of Idlib, Syria. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra) | AP

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, June 23 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia and Qatar are paying salaries to rebel forces fighting in the Syrian revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, an Arab diplomat said on Saturday.

"The payment has been going on for months and the agreement was made on April 2 by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with logistical organisation from Turkey where some Free Syrian Army factions are based," said the official, who requested anonymity.

"The point of this is to encourage as many factions of the Syrian army to defect and to organise the FSA, control it and prevent any extremist organisations from joining it." (Reporting by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Alison Williams)

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