The foreign ministers of the European Union discuss providing arms to militants in Syria as the Syrian army continues with its successful operations in the strategic town of Qusayr.
The EU foreign ministers have convened in Brussels to decide whether to supply weaponry to the foreign-backed militants fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. They will examine calls by France and the UK to ease an EU arms embargo on Syria. Several EU member states including Sweden, Austria and Finland have expressed strong opposition to the measure, but a number of others remain hesitant. Meanwhile, the Syrian army has tightened its hold on Qusayr, located about 164 kilometers (100 miles) north of the capital, Damascus. A source close to the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has said that the Syrian soldiers - backed by a group of Hezbollah forces - now control 80 percent of the town, a former militant stronghold in the central province of Homs. On May 25, Hezbollah Secretary-General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah defended the Lebanese resistance movement’s decision to fight the militants in Qusayr near the Lebanese border. The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, has also said the main road between the town of Baalbek in southern Lebanon and the Syrian city of Homs has been secured. On Sunday, Syrian forces managed to retake control of a media center and Ahli Hospital, which was being used by the militants as a field hospital. The army also cleared al-Hamidiyeh town, in al-Qusayr countryside. Syrian troops have retaken control of Qusayr’s military airport as well as several key districts and buildings, including the headquarters of the Ba’ath Party. The Syrian army entered Qusayr from several directions on May 19 after weeks of clashes with militants. Syria has been gripped by unrest for over two years, and many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the foreign-sponsored militancy. President Assad said on May 18 that militants from 29 different countries were fighting against the government in different parts of the country.