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Media fuels conflict and
pushes for intervention

Troubles in Syria


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Arms for whom? US supporters of Syrian opposition as hostages of their own rhetoric

Babich Dmitry
The Voice of Russia

The recent appeal of the Syrian National Council for a joint Western-Arab military intervention in Syria puts the United States, NATO and their allies before a very serious dilemma. Since sending troops to the area with the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq not yet finished appears to be out of the question, the only possible solution is supplying the rebels with arms. But whose hands are these arms going to fall into? The rhetorical question recently asked by US State Secretary Hillary Clinton: “Are we supporting Al-Qaeda in Syria?” is getting a more and more affirmative answer. 

The French daily Le Figaro yesterday came out with a detailed analysis of the situation on the ground in Syria which confirms the State Secretary’s worst suspicions. “Thanks to its collaboration with the Iraqi intelligence services the CIA managed to infiltrate some of the rebel groups which crossed the border between Iraq and Syria,” Le Figaro reports with reference to a close associate of the Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki. “On the photos, the CIA people recognized some of the mujahideen they had been searching for in Iraq.”  During the much publicized fighting in Homs, a rebel stronghold, the Iraqi agents spotted a lot of the fighters previously active in the so called “Islamic Emirate of Iraq,” the local al-Qaeda franchise, Le Figaro reports. American intelligence expert James Clapper and Israeli anti-terrorism experts expressed concern over the “Salafist imprint” in Latakia and Idlib, the two cities in north-western Syria, where the anti-government rebels transferred their operation after their defeat in Homs.

Salafism is the most reactionary current in modern Islamism, advocating strict observance of medieval Islamic norms and “war against the infidels.” It is often associated with al-Qaeda.

Since autumn 2011, Iraq became one of the main routes for foreign fighters’ infiltration into Syria. Professor Adel al-Kayar, a Baghdad-based scholar of militant Islamism, says that among the infiltrators one can see not only Iraqis, but also Saudis and Kuwaitis. The veterans of the recent war in Libya are being shipped to Syria via Turkey and Lebanon. In Iraq, most of the “volunteers” leaving for the war in Syria are Sunni radicals, who view their “jihad” against the Syrian president Bashar al-Asad as a part of their anti-Shia crusade in Iraq. Assad is reported to have a good relationship with Iran, a Shia-dominated country.

So, can the United States indeed rely on such “allies” as these ones? Iran, despite its professed Muslim radicalism, did not attack other countries and was not involved in the 9/11 bombings in the United States. The vast majority of terrorist acts against the American citizens in the last 20 years were committed by Sunni radicals from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon, Persian Gulf emirates – the very states who now ally themselves with the United States in a bid to destabilize al-Assad’s regime.   

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