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‘KSA, France plan to disrupt Syria vote’

Saudi and French intelligence authorities are reportedly working on a plan to disrupt forthcoming presidential election in Syria, which may award President Bashar al-Assad a new term in office.


Informed sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity, stated that the plan is being devised by agents from Saudi and French intelligence services in a border region between Syria and Jordan, Lebanon’s al-Manar television network reported.


The sources further stated that the massive operations being conducted by Syrian Army troops to purge the central city of Homs of foreign-sponsored militants fighting against the Damascus government have caused concern among officials in Riyadh and Paris.


Saudi intelligence authorities, meanwhile, have ordered commanders of foreign-sponsored militant groups operating inside Homs, located 162 kilometers (101 miles) north of the capital Damascus, not to lose ground in battles against Syrian government forces, and threatened them with death should they are defeated.


Foreign-backed militants have also been directed to conduct fresh attacks in different parts of Syria in case Syrian army regain full control over Homs.


France's external intelligence agency, the General Directorate for External Security, is also planning to supply Syrian militants with anti-aircraft missiles despite the European Union’s warnings against arming Takfiri militants in Syria.


Syria announced it will hold a presidential election on June 3. Speaker Mohammad al-Lahham announced the date in parliament, saying Syrians living outside the country would vote on May 28 and candidates would be able to register from Tuesday until May 1.


The United Nations condemned the announcement, warning it would torpedo a political resolution of the conflict. Syria’s foreign-backed opposition also rejected the election as nothing more than a "farce."


Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. Over 150,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by Western-backed militants.


According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.


MP/PR/SL

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