The press agency of Lebanon's Hezbollah movement charged Wednesday that the CIA, Israel's Mossad and private security firms have been exposed supporting Syrian rebels in Homs.
Al-Manar, a channel linked to the Shi'ite militia Hezbollah -- a close ally of the Assad regime in Syria -- asserted that 700 Arab and Western gunmen along with Israeli, American and European-made weapons were seized in the rebellious Homs neighborhood of Baba Amro when government forces overwhelmed and routed the rebel Free Syrian Army last weekend. It said mercenaries of Xe Services LL, formerly known as Blackwater, and Academi were also apprehended.
The site quoted one predicting: Huge and critical surprises will be uncovered in the coming few days, such as the kinds of arms seized, as well as the military tactics the armed groups follows, and the sides that supervised the operations.
Salim Harba, a Syrian security expert, told Al-Manar that a coordination office was established in Qatar under American-Gulf sponsorship. The office includes American, French, and Gulf -- specifically from Qatar and Saudi Arabia -- intelligence agents, as well as CIA, Mossad, and Blackwater agents and members of the Syrian Transitional Council.
He added, Qatar had also made deals with Israeli and American companies to arm the armed groups, and Gulf countries have been financing the agreements.
John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.Org and an expert on defense and intelligence policy, said, for the three of them to be in cahoots, in Homs is unlikely if not laughable. Pike believes the Al-Manar dispatch is not necessarily credible and may have been fabricated by a number of parties who are interested in blaming foreign intelligence agencies for the Syrian uprising.
The claim comes just after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad responded to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who called on President Barack Obama to launch an airstrike on Syria. Assad vowed on Wednesday to fight this type of foreign-backed terrorism.
The Syrian people, who have in the past managed to crush foreign plots, have again proven their ability to defend the nation and to build a new Syria through their determination to pursue reforms while confronting foreign-backed terrorism, said Assad, according to state news agency SANA.
The United States, which opposes unilateral military action against Assad's regime, will propose a new United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an end to the violence in Syria by both government and rebel forces. However, Russia and China continue to shield the Assad regime by blocking resolutions made against Syria.
Last year, WikiLeaks cables revealed that the U.S. State Department had allegedly been secretly financing Syrian opposition groups for at least five years, according to the Washington Post. Even after Obama began his reengagement policy with Syria, money reportedly continued to flow into opposition projects until Syrian intelligence officers began to ask questions.
The United Nations estimates that more than 8,000 people have been killed in Syria since the start of anti-government protests in March 2011.