5 Things You Should Know About Syria
1. While it is true that the Assad regime is a dictatorship, like so many in the region, and while it is true that there was an uprising for democracy, it is also true that Al Qaeda groupings and sympathizers inspired and led by Al-Zawahiri, current Al Qaeda commander after Bin Ladin’s death, who has personally issued a fatwa against the Assad regime, as well as mercenaries hired and paid by Saudi Arabia and Sunni volunteers from neighboring countries including Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Libya who get money and weapons from Saudi Arabia and want to see an Islamic fundamentalist regime in Syria have been seen and identified among those fighting the regime.
2. Saudi Arabia has sent hundreds of millions of dollars as well as weapons to the fighters in Syria through Turkey, and with the help of the CIA and the Turkish government has set up camps at the Turkish-Syrian border for the fighters who easily slip in from Syria and slip back in with heavy weaponry in hand. Kurdish residents of the villages near the border have seen and reported on trucks carrying weapons for the fighters. In order to avoid and prevent inspection by the UN and other organizations which normally inspect and assist with refugee camps set up at a border during a war, the Turkish government calls those camped near the border “guests”, and does not allow any organization or journalist to enter the camps.
3. CIA agents are doing the vetting as to who can get money and weapons. Ordinary people demanding democracy are not among those receiving money, training and weapons which include AK-47’s, rocket propelled grenades, anti-tank weapons, communication gear, intelligence, ammunition, etc. Using these and other weapons and explosives, these fighters have been able to fight like an army. It’s ironic that the US and Al Qaeda whose predecessors were the Mojaheddin of Afghanistan including Bin Ladin himself when they were receiving aid and weapons from the CIA and Pakistan while fighting the Soviets in early 1980’s, have come full circle to fight on the same side again. This time, instead of Pakistan, it’s Saudi Arabia that’s the conduit, but the fighters are of the same religious fundamentalist ideology and fervor, if not the same individuals.
4. The 6-point peace plan which was announced in February of this year and accepted by the Syrian government and was mediated by joint UN and Arab League peace envoy, Kofi Annan, and called for cease fire to end the fighting and begin talks to resolve the conflict diplomatically, was ended by Free Syrian Army (FSA), which continued to receive money, weapons and foreign fighters with the help of the US, UK, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
5. The massacre in Houla, Syria, in May of this year, where 108 people, mostly women and children (34 women and 49 children) were shot to death in close range was first attributed to the forces allied with the regime by the UN Human Rights council which voted 41 to 6 to condemn the Assad government on June 1, which resulted in Western governments expelling Syrian ambassadors, though later, on June 27, the Council modified that position and said other perpetrators were possibly involved and left the issue as inconclusive. Without making a conclusive statement when none is warranted, one cannot rule out Al Qaeda fighters who are known to be fighting there against the government.
Conclusion: Though opinions may vary about the civil war in Syria, the mere involvement of Saudi Arabia and the CIA as well as diplomatic shuttling between London and Riyadh, must make one think twice about defending the so-called “rebels”, especially when one considers that none of such outcry by Western governments such as the US, UK, France and Germany is uttered about the pro-democracy movements in Bahrain and Yemen, where unarmed protesters are being shot at and killed or jailed with the full support of the US. The monarchy in Bahrain, which is “home” to US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, is not only receiving US help in cracking down on defenseless protesters, but has received troops (mercenaries really) from no other than Saudi Arabia which in recent years fearful that Arab Spring may come to them and kick them off their royal thrones have become active in trying to reverse the tide. They have realized that to put an end to the Arab Spring, once and for all, they have to help secure the region with governments allied with the US and Israel.
The Assad regime must eventually be replaced by a popular and democratic government, but that’s not what the West and the Saudi kings and Israel have in mind for the nation and that’s not what those fighters receiving weapons from Saudis and the CIA represent.