Escalating War on Syria
by Stephen Lendman
Syria is Obama’s war. He didn’t launch it to quit. He wants Assad ousted. He’s stronger now than when conflict erupted. It began in March 2011. It’s in year four.
Assad enjoys overwhelming support. It’s no surprise. Syrians deplore foreign invaders. He’s their sole source of protection.
He consistently routs Western-supported death squads. He controls most parts of Syria. He does so effectively. He’s committed to defending his people responsibly.
On April 11, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) headlined “Army’s intensive campaign against terrorism continues in all Syrian areas.”
They’re effectively targeted or eliminated in and around Aleppo, Damascus, Qunetira, Homs, Hassaka, Idleb, and elsewhere.
Washington won’t accept defeat. It stepped up support for insurgents. It followed Obama’s late March Saudi Arabia visit.
He came to repair strained relations. Reports said expanded Syrian opposition aid was agreed on. Efforts will be made to increase insurgent numbers.
Perhaps doubling them at US-run camps in Jordan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and elsewhere. CIA and special forces are heavily involved in training and direction.
Heavier weapons will be supplied. Apparently they include anti-aircraft missile launchers. They’re called manpads (Man-Portable Air Defense Systems).
They’re effective against helicopters. They can down fixed-wing warplanes and civilian airliners.
Supplying them violates anti-terrorism agreements. In late March, one of Obama’s national security advisors said:
“We have made clear that there are certain types of weapons, including Manpads, that could pose a proliferation risk if introduced into Syria.”
Manpads are small. One person can easily operate them. They can be hidden in car trunks. A 2011 State Department document said:
“Since 1975, 40 civilian aircraft have been hit by Manpads, causing about 28 crashes and more than 800 deaths around the world.”
Then Secretary of State Colin Powell said “(n)o threat is more serious to (civil) aviation than Manpads.”
A 2003 G-8 Action Plan titled Enhance Transport Security and Control of Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (Manpads) prohibited supplying them to “non-state end-users.”
Other US-supported agreements permit supplying them only to authorized governments. A State Department fact sheet mandates keeping them away from terrorists and “other non-state actors.”
Washington says one thing. It does another. It’s longstanding policy. Earlier, Congress secretly approved supplying Syrian insurgents with anti-tank rockets and other small arms.
At the time, Manpads were excluded. Apparently no longer. Stepped up aggression is planned. Terrorist invaders comprise Obama’s main proxy army.
Reports suggesting extremist groups won’t be armed don’t wash. Al Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Jabhat al-Nusra, and Ahrar al-Sham comprise the most effective anti-Assad elements.
They’re heavily recruited against him. Saudi Arabia is very much involved. It enlists some of the most extremist fighters. They pour in cross-border. Turkey is a main conduit.
They battle Syria’s military. They target Assad loyalists. They’re mostly civilians. They kill them with impunity.
They use car bombs and other explosive devices. They cause vast destruction. They use terror weapons.
They include poison gas and other toxic chemicals. Assad is wrongfully blamed for their crimes.
Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said they used sarin gas against Ghouta civilians last August. Turkey was complicit. It was a classic false flag attack.
Obama planned using it as pretext for bombing Syria. Perhaps Libya 2.0. Overwhelming public opposition stopped him.
Attacking Syria was postponed. It wasn’t canceled. It’s perhaps another major false flag attack away.
Anti-Assad terrorist invaders are responsible for millions of internally and externally displaced civilians. Up to one-third of Syria’s population is affected. A deepening humanitarian crisis exists.
Syria remains a cauldron of violence. No end of conflict looks near. Supplying heavier weapons assures more casualties.
Video evidence shows insurgents using US-made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles. Washington hasn’t officially confirmed supplying them.
Saudi Arabia is likely involved. Reports suggest Obama wants conflict escalated. On April 10, Voice of Russia headlined “US could supply Syrian rebels with anti-tank weapons to increase pressure on Assad.”
Doing so reflects “a major transition in US Middle East policy and could be used as (a) tool to unobtrusively exercise pressure on” Assad, said Middle East analyst Yezid Sayigh.
On April 8, RT International headlined “US reportedly starts supplying Syrian rebels with anti-tank weapons.”
RT called them “high-powered” ones. Most likely “supplied by the United States.”
Fars News reported the same story. It headlined “Syria: Militants Equipped with US-Made TOW Missiles,” saying:
“Sources in Syria revealed that the US has supplied its state-of-the-art anti-tank missiles to the militants fighting against the Damascus government.”
“The missiles have been seen at the hands of Hazem militants, who are loyal to former head of the military council of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) Salim Idris, in Idlib countryside in Northwestern Syria.”
On April 7, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) headlined “US arms Syrian rebels with first heavy weapons, anti-tank BGM-71 TOW missiles – raising war stakes.”
TOWs can pierce 500mm thickness tank armor. Their range is about four kilometers.
Supplying them “denotes a striking change in Obama administration policy,” said DF.
Weapons are “being airlifted in through two routes: the southeastern Turkish town of Diyarbakir on the Tigris, and the giant northern Saudi King Faisal Air Base at Tabuk near the Jordanian border.”
Last week, US Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey met with Netanyahu in Israel. He waived a standing US/Saudi/Israeli agreement.
He did so to let Saudi F-16s get “proximity to Israeli air space.” They’ll provide “air cover for (US) transports flying the new weapons in via Saudi, and the convoys ferrying them onward (to) southern Syria through Jordan.”
TOWs can penetrate Syrian tank armor. Assad changed strategy in response, said DF. He’s emphasizing “heavy air force bombardments.”
Sergei Lavrov got John Kerry’s commitment not to supply insurgents with “hand-held anti-aircraft missiles,” said DF.
His word isn’t his bond. Nor others in Washington. They say one thing. They do another. They lied throughout Obama’s war on Syria.
Regime change alone matters. Obama wants Assad ousted. He’s going all-out to topple him. Supplying heavy weapons and terror ones may be part of his strategy.
Russian Foreign Ministry pleas fall on deaf ears. It called for ending weapons sent to insurgent forces. It condemned ongoing terrorist attacks.
Civilians are harmed most. “Russia affirms the need for confronting all forms of terrorism in Syria and halting the support of terrorists,” its FM said.
It denounced the terrorist assassination of Father Frans van der Lugt. Terrorist attacks occur daily.
Dozens of noncombatant men, women, children, elderly and infirm Syrians perish. Many others are injured. Human misery is extreme.
So far, Russia’s best conflict resolution efforts failed. Washington bears full responsibility. White House press secretary Jay Carney lied saying:
“We are going to continue to press in every way we can to assist the Syrian people. We are constantly reviewing and assessing what else we can do.”
He hinted possible US military action adding:
“(W)hen bad things continue to happen in a place like Syria, (considerations) can always be reduced to the question of: is the US going to use its military forces to try and do something?
Perhaps he signaled possible Libya 2.0. Perhaps far more mass slaughter and destruction will follow.
Daniel Nisman is a right-wing Israeli journalist. He specializes in Eastern Mediterranean affairs. He twists truths irresponsibly.
On April 10, he got feature Wall Street Journal op-ed space. He headlined “Chemical Assad.” He blamed him for insurgent CW attacks.
He lied claiming he “gassed more than 1,400 people to death in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus” last August. Hard evidence proved otherwise.
“On March 28,” he said, a so-called insurgent “Damascus Military Council reported a nerve-gas attack in the capital’s Harasta area the previous night.”
He claimed “credible opposition news outlets” reported it. No “credible” opposition sources exist. Nisman didn’t explain.
He said “casualties ranged from several dozen injured, to up to three dead from asphyxiation.”
He cited a so-called opposition “Local Coordination Committees” allegation about an April 3 Jobar district CW attack.
He claimed circulating videos on both attacks provide credible evidence. They’re easy to fake.
They’re dirty tricks. They were used in Libya. They were against Assad before. They raised suspicions both times.
They showed fake images. They were exposed. Evidence showed Western elements produced them. Qatari ones were involved against Libya. Perhaps something similar this time happened.
On April 7, an Israeli official claimed “strong evidence pointing to the use of chemical materials” used in Harasta, said Nisman.
He admitted no evidence links Assad to what allegedly happened. Plenty links insurgents to CW use numerous times.
Not according to Nisman. He claims otherwise. “It can therefore be concluded that unless the rebels theatrically fabricated the effects of a chemical attack, the Assad regime was likely responsible for carrying them out,” he said.
Even with much of its stockpile eliminated, it “has the ability to carry out localized attacks,” he added.
Throughout over three years of conflict, no evidence links Assad to CW use. None! Plenty points fingers at insurgents.
Nisman lied saying he “carr(ied) out anywhere from six to eight (CW) attacks in Damascus, Aleppo and Homs.” Nisman blocked out truth. He substituted lies saying:
It’s “quite reasonable to assume that Assad believes he may once again have a free hand to use the world’s most deadly weapons against his own people.”
It exceeds reason when no evidence suggests it. False allegations substitute for hard truths.
Don’t expect Nisman to explain. He’s part of the vicious anti-Assad propaganda campaign. Journal editors featured his lies. They publish plenty of their own.
Mohammad Marandi is Tehran University North American Studies Professor. He’s an astute observer. He’s a valued Progressive Radio News Hour guest.
On April 6, he headlined “Orientalism and Western illusions about Syria.”
Assad remains hugely popular, said Marandi. It’s for good reason. “(E)normous crowds” stage demonstrations supporting him.
They value him over Western or Salafist rule. “Saudi-based (so-called) ‘mainstream” cleric Saleh el-Luhaidan” supports violence and instability.
“Kill a third of Syrians so the other two-thirds may live,” he said. This type extremism poses grave regional existential threats, said Marandi.
Assad’s government won’t collapse, he added. The only way forward is acknowledging reality.
“Continued support for foreign extremists and al-Qaeda affiliates is no longer simply a regional threat; it has become a global threat much greater than what existed in Afghanistan.”
“Setting preconditions for one side of the Syrian conflict or the other simply means more death and destruction.”
“The international community must come together to support an election where the Syrian people choose their own leadership and for everyone to accept the results.”
The alternative is continued mass slaughter and destruction. It’s another global flashpoint. It risks conflict worldwide.
Washington bears full responsibility. Its policies risk mass annihilation. Challenging them matters most.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”