Syria Crisis: Damascus Takes Swipe At U.S. Support For 'Terrorists'

06/28/2012 01:56 pm ET | Updated Aug 28, 2012

UNITED NATIONS, June 28 (Reuters) - Syria's U.N. envoy said on Thursday that "terrorists" in his country were using foreign communications technology, a clear swipe at U.S. support for opposition groups fighting for the past 16-months to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

"Terrorists have been using information and communication technologies provided openly by some of those countries that suffered from the scourge," Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari told a U.N. General Assembly debate on counter-terrorism.

"Unfortunately these countries call this technology a non-lethal weapon," he said.

President Barack Obama's administration has said it is giving the Syrian opposition logistical and communications help, but it has shied away from providing arms, in part out of concern about the rebels' organization.

Rebel forces attacked Syria's main court in central Damascus on Thursday, and dozens of wrecked and burning cars were strewn over a car park used by lawyers and judges.

Damascus has maintained all along that it is facing a "terrorist" conspiracy funded and directed from abroad, not least by resource-rich Gulf monarchies Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which have called for arming the fighters aiming to oust Assad.

"Some of these organized terrorist acts bear the fingerprints of the al Qaeda organization and its ideology in terms of killing, dismemberment and mutilation of bodies and the killing of entire families on a sectarian basis," Ja'afari said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said he believed al Qaeda was responsible for two suicide car bombs in Damascus in May that killed at least 55 people.

Earlier this week U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told the Security Council that Damascus has forbidden the unarmed U.N. observer mission in Syria from using satellite phones, which he said was a key tool for the monitors. The mission has suspended most of its work due to the worsening violence.

The United Nations has said more than 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which began as peaceful pro-democracy protests. (Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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