The situation around Syria is clearly entering a very dangerous phase, and the conflict is growing increasingly worse as both sides employ all possible means to achieve victory. Unfortunately, the recent Arab League mission did not achieve its main goal, and the UN Security Council and the General Assembly have been unable to bring about a peaceful resolution of the Syrian conflict.
The well-known political analyst Mark Glenn from Crescent and Cross Solidarity Movement has said the situation was very predictable; many people saw it coming a year ago at the beginning of the Arab Spring, which has reached Syria. He said Western countries would work with Israel and exploit the situation to destabilize Syria in order to topple President Assad and create a new country that will serve the interests of Israel and the United States.
Syria, of course, is the gateway to the Arab world because, as Orientalists say, the road to Tehran runs through Damascus. Syria is the West’s key to further alienate and isolate Iran from the international community. Glenn stressed that, should any military operations be conducted against Iran, it would first be necessary to get Syria out of the way and make everyone believe Iran is completely alone on the world stage and isolated from everybody.
With the international, military, propaganda and other assistance of the West, Israel, Turkey and the Sunni Gulf countries, the Syrian protest movement quickly became an armed struggle when they were asked from without to carry out a regime change. Once the West decided to “call the tune,” it was quite natural that it would pay for the Syrian opposition “orchestra.” Which prefers to remain either in Turkey or in the very comfortable capitals of Europe.
Here are a few facts taken from the enormous flow of information about how closely Western countries are involved in inflaming events in Syria.
President Bashar Assad has repeatedly said that the Syrian militants fighting government forces receive assistance from abroad. His claims have been confirmed by the Israeli media, particularly by the news portal DEBKAfile. According to journalists, the opposition is receiving support from British and Qatari special operations forces. The foreign soldiers do not participate in combat themselves; they give the extremists tactical training and equip them with arms and ammunition from Turkish territory.
Incidentally, Turkey is increasingly becoming involved in Syrian affairs on the side of the rebels. The American writer Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, was quoted in the Dar al-Hayat newspaper as saying: “Turkey, a NATO member, has become Washington’s proxy” in the operation, and “unmarked NATO warplanes have been arriving at Iskenderun, near the Syrian border.”
The Arab press notes that Turkey is harboring a large group of deserters calling themselves the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and detachments of militia fighters. Turkey gives them protection and cover and allows their leaders to broadcast into Syria from its territory. Currently, militants of many illegal armed groups are roaming Syria and attacking soldiers of the Syrian army, military camps and bases, setting up ambushes and mining roads. The recent battles in Zabadani, Homs and Deraa are evidence of that.
The Egyptian Al-Ahram writes that the peaceful demonstrations with which the “Syrian Spring” began have long since become gang violence, a war by groups with different orientations and politics; and frequently their religious affiliation is unknown. They are led only by blind hatred towards the regime and everyone on its side, an irrepressible lust for power and a desire to take it at any cost.
According to the international media, Israel has supplied the Free Syrian Army with Shipon B-300 rocket launchers. The rocket launchers were sent by stages, in a Qatari diplomatic pouch through Lebanon and Turkey and on an Italian aircraft that arrived at Beirut airport on January 22 with a cargo of medical supplies for Syrian refugees in northern Lebanon. This humanitarian flight was sent by the Italian government at the request of Syrian National Council Chairman Burhan Ghalioun, who had appealed to the Italian government during a visit to Rome.
Israeli sources report that the rocket launchers were used recently in the Syrian city of Homs and near Jabal al-Zawiya in Idlib Province. They claim that they received photographs depicting the effective use of these weapons on the battlefield. Syrian rebels in various regions and cities of the country have up to 20 Shipon B-300s equipped with night vision sights. The rocket launcher is compact and very effective in urban combat, which Italian experts say is what the FSA fighters need at this stage.
It is highly indicative that the West is actively supporting a variety of terrorists in Syria, including al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. He called for the overthrow of President Bashar Assad in a video message addressed to the people of Syria and a number of Muslim countries and asked Muslims in Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan to come to the aid of the fighters in Syria.
The McClatchy Newspapers group reports that the recent attacks in Damascus and Aleppo were organized by al-Qaeda in Iraq on al-Zawahiri’s personal orders. Recall that a car bomb and suicide bomber killed 28 people and injured another 175 in Aleppo. The targets of the bombings were military intelligence and security force headquarters.
Many of the al-Qaeda fighters in Iraq have recently been moving into neighboring Syria to participate in operations against the army and security forces, Maj. Gen. Abed Ali al-Bahadli of the Iraqi Border Guards told Al-Afaq television. “Over the past two months, we have arrested dozens of al-Qaeda members and stopped three buses and a truck carrying a large quantity of weapons while trying to cross the border into Syria.” Most of the weapons and fighters come from the provinces of Nineveh in northern Iraq and Anbar in the west. These areas have become something of a “land bridge for transferring arms and ammunition from the huge arsenal accumulated during the years al-Qaeda has been in Iraq,” al-Bahadli said.
Recently, the demand in Syria for smuggled weapons, particularly AK-47s, has increased significantly, and smugglers have stepped up their activities. Al-Afaq interviewed Al-Lehaybi, a smuggler from the Iraqi city of Mosul, who said, “This is a good, profitable business. Also, what we do helps the Syrian people overthrow a tyrant who has brutally repressed his people for decades.”
In a statement about the terrorist attacks in Aleppo, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said Syria has every right to protect its citizens against terrorism and violence, and it demands that the UN Security Council carry out its earlier resolutions on the fight against terrorism.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry demanded that countries harboring militants surrender them to the Syrian authorities and stop supporting and funding them in accordance with international law and the UN Security Council resolutions on the fight against terrorism.
The document notes that “crime was committed by parties that are supported by Arab and Western countries in violation of their international obligations and with the determination to undermine the security of Syria and its citizens.”
The message was sent to the UN Secretary-General, the Chairman of the UN Security Council, the Secretaries-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council and League of Arab States, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Viktor Mikhin is a Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. This article was written expressly for New Eastern Outlook.