Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Is the West Moving Closer to Military Intervention in Syria?

Colonel Riyad al-Asad and others announcing th...
FSA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As noted on this blog at the beginning of October, the autumn skirmishes on the Turkish-Syrian boarder may be providing an excuse for greater NATO involvement in the Syrian civil war, with Turkey acting as a key base of operations.

This exclusive from the Independent today claims that western military leaders are already meeting, along with their counterparts from Jordan, Qatar, Turkey and the UAE, to formulate an air and sea-based campaign in support of the Syrian rebels.

The paper quotes a senior Whitehall source as saying,

"If this is worth doing, then it is worth doing professionally; training the FSA [Free Syrian Army] and providing them with air and maritime support when necessary."

Perhaps the most depressing aspect of this development is its shameless repetition of history as Western powers claim to be able to intervene on the side of the moderates, while excluding the jihadists such as the Islamist Al-Nursa group:

"The Obama administration is considering  proscribing Al-Nusra as a terrorist organisation, making it illegal for American citizens to fund it and sending a warning message to Arab states not to back it. At the same time Western help will be directed at and strengthen the moderate groups. The unified rebel command structure set up in Turkey, at the behest of the US and UK, has excluded the Islamist militias."

Those with a long memory may remember such platitudes being made in the early 1980s when western powers armed and supported the Afghan rebels in their fight against the occupying Soviet forces. In the process, the CIA not only recruited but helped to create the Taliban and, indirectly, al-Qaeda.


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