Saudi Arabia Plans To Fund Syria Rebel Army — The Guardian Exclusive: Command centre in Turkey organising weapon supply to opposition. Saudi officials are preparing to pay the salaries of the Free Syria Army as a means of encouraging mass defections from the military and increasing pressure on the Assad regime, the Guardian has learned. The move, which has been discussed between Riyadh and senior officials in the US and Arab world, is believed to be gaining momentum as a recent flush of weapons sent to rebel forces by Saudi Arabia and Qatar starts to make an impact on battlefields in Syria. Read more …. Update #1: Report: Saudis will pay salaries of rebel Syria army — MSNBC Update #2: Riyadh paying Free Syrian Army salaries — UPI My Comment: If these reports are true …. and they probably are …. expect Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah to provide even greater support to the Syrian regime in the weeks and months to come. The Syrian civil war is now rapidly escalating into a Middle East regional conflict with international overtones as Russia and the U.S./Europe become more actively involved. On a side note …. here is my prediction on where this conflict is heading (i.e. my worst case scenario). The Syrian civil war will produce more casualties and refugees in the next 12-16 months than what the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq did in 8 years …. with the bloodshed and sectarian strife also spreading into Lebanon and God only knows where else.