Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Future MP Oqab Saqr Funds, Arms, Kidnaps in Syria

Local Editor

Al-Akhbar news paper reported Wednesday that Lebanese MP Oqab Saqr, who has a strong relation with the armed Syrian opposition, has been asked by some Emirati sides to make efforts to stop a significant Emirati man from fighting side by side with “Al-Nosra Front” against the Syrian regime.
Uqab SaqrAccording to the Lebanese daily, the Emirati side called the Lebanese MP and asked for his help on this issue, and that Saqr tried to contact a member of “Al-Nosra Front” to find a solution, but the latter refused to help.

The Emirati man was later provided by the armed group with a fake Syrian Identity Card to help hide his real identity.

Quoting high-leveled Syrian opposition sources, Al-Akhbar further clarified that after Saqr’s failing efforts with the Islamic Jihadists in Syria, he called a Turkey-based Syrian opposition leader and asked for his help in returning the Emirati man to his country, offering him over a million and 200 dollars.

After the Turkey-based leader’s efforts with his armed allies in Syria failed, Saqr, who is a major funder of some Syrian opposition parts, threatened to assassinate him in Turkey if he did not return the Emirati man, suggesting that he asks one of his groups to kidnap the Emirati man who is under the protection of “Al-Nosra Front”. Considering that engaging himself in a problem with “Al-Nosra Front” was not an easy thing especially that it is the strongest opposition part on ground, the opposition leader called a member of the front known as “Chief of the freemen” and agreed with him that he kidnaps the Emirati man.

The paper said it tried to contact the Lebanese MP, but his Belgian number was always off, noting that Saqr was the mediator in several other incidents, and has information about the 11 Lebanese abductees and the negotiations around them, as well as the Iranian captives in Syria.

Al-Akhbar pointed out that Saqr played a major role in helping release reporter Youmna Fawwaz who was kidnapped while preparing a field report about the Syrian opposition fighters.

Uqab-MoqdadIn this context, the Times newspaper had lately reported that “Saudi Arabia’s man in the Istanbul control center is a Lebanese politician named Oqab Saqr and belongs to the Future Movement which has a history of enmity with Damascus.”

The British paper added that “the Lebanese politician was in South Turkey overseeing the distribution of batches of supplies — small consignments of 50,000 Kalashnikov bullets and several dozen rocket-propelled grenades — to at least four different FSA groups in Idlib province as well as larger consignments to other areas including Homs. The FSA sources also say he met with some commanders but not others.”

Similarly, New York Times quoted Syrian gunmen on the Syria-Turkey borders as saying that “the major supplier of arms from Riyadh is Lebanese MP Oqab Saqr”.

In parallel, Free Syrian Army Supreme Council Spokesman Luay Moqdad added on his Facebook account a picture with Oqab Saqr that was taken Tuesday.

Moqdad stated that the picture was taken on the Syria-Turkey borders, clarifying that he published it to respond to claims that he was injured along with MP Oqab Saqr in an explosion that targeted them.

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