NATO in Syria: Is Direct Miitary Intervention Next?
On March 6, the BBC reported Obama saying Washington won’t intervene in Syria unilaterally. At the same time, he stopped short of ruling out joint Western aggression. In his first 2012 news conference, he said:
“The notion that the way to solve every one of these problems is to deploy our military, that hasn’t been true in the past, and it won’t be true now.”
“We’ve got to think through what we do through the lens of what’s going to be effective – but also through what’s critical for US security interests.”
Since taking office, Obama launched more belligerence than all his predecessors. He’s not shy about initiating more. As a result, his comments ring hollow, especially given his record as a serial liar. Believe nothing he says.
On March 5, Russia Today (RT) headlined, “Stratfor leaks: NATO commandos in illegal special ops in Syria,” saying:
According to hacked Stratfor emails released by WikiLeaks, NATO forces already operate covertly in Syria. The company’s analysis director, Reva Bhalla, wrote them for internal use.
They discusses “a confidential Pentagon meeting in December.” Allegedly, senior US, UK and French analysts attended. Western powers categorically denied involvement. It’s known they’ve been supplying opposition forces with heavy weapons for months.
Syrian National Council leader Bassma Kodmani admitted it. Moreover, Assad’s forces intercepted smuggled supplies and uncovered internal caches.
Bhalla claimed US officials “said….SOF (special operations forces) teams are already on the ground, focused on recce (reconnaissance) missions and training operations forces.”
She also said the December meeting focused on possible US air strikes. Comments included saying Washington has “high tolerance for killings,” but won’t initiate attacks without “enough media attention on a massacre like the” falsified one attributed to Gaddafi on Benghazi.
Attacks are “doable, (but) the air campaign in Syria makes Libya look like a piece of cake.” At issue, is Syria’s ballistic missile capability and alleged chemical weapons.
France’s official said “Syria won’t be a Libya-type situation in that France would be gung-ho about going in. Not in an election year.”
Britain’s also reluctant but is “looking for ways to reassert itself on the continent following the renegotiation of the EU treaty.”
US army experts said “the idea ‘hypothetically’ is to commit guerrilla attacks, assassination campaigns, try to break the back of the Alawite forces, elicit collapse from within.”
Stratfor won’t comment on the emails, but didn’t deny them. What it knows, in fact, isn’t clear. Russia Today’s Max Keiser calls it the Economist a week later. In other words, it’s talk of high-level insider contacts may be more bravado than fact to sell subscriptions.
On March 4, the Syrian Free Press claimed 100 foreign mercenaries captured after regaining control of Homs. Most were French. Others were from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab states. They had weapons supplied by America and Israel.
On March 5, 13 French officers were captured. RT said Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper reported it.
On March 7, RT said Mossad, CIA and Blackwater elements are operating inside Syria. In addition, according to Lebanon’s Al-Manar, “around 700 gunmen were recently arrested in the former rebel stronghold of Babar Amr.”
They came from Gulf states, Iraq and Lebanon. Qatari intelligence operatives were with them, as well as fighters from Afghanistan, Turkey, France and other European countries.
Syrian forces said American, Israeli and European weapons were seized. “The Syrian army also uncovered tunnels and equipment,” as well as “advance” Western and Israeli arms not net tested in real time.
“The Syrian security forces have documents and confessions that could harm everyone who conspired against Syria, and could make a security and political change, not just on the internal Syrian level, but also on the regional level.”
Stratfor’s email suggested covert NATO forces operating in Syria. Internal security reports confirm what’s been known for weeks, perhaps months. However, Syrian authorities won’t reveal all they know, but called their evidence “high value.”
For months, many independent analysts said Western supported foreign killer gangs operated in Syria for months. China and Russia said so.
On March 7, China Daily contributor MD Nalapat (an Indian geopolitics professor) said “NATO behav(es) like a law unto itself,” and now is involved in Syria.
“(A)rmed gangs are being encouraged to kill not just security forces but elements of the population that favor the recognized regime in Damascus. And while NATO may gain from such unethical actions, the rest of the world is the loser.”
“But everything done by NATO indicates that it has set itself up not only as the enforcer of international law, but also the law itself.”
Washington’s Latest Security Council Proposal: Little Different from Its Last One
Washington’s again trying to strong-arm through another anti-Assad Security Council resolution. While paying more attention to opposition violence, Russia said the document remains unbalanced.
A draft demands Syria grant “unhindered humanitarian access (and) condemns the continued widespread, systematic, and gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities.”
It also demands Assad “immediately put an end to such violations.”
The hypocrisy’s galling. Assad’s more victim than villain. Washington, Britain, France, Turkey, Israel, and rogue Arab League allies bear main responsibility. Assad responded to violence their killer gangs initiated.
The draft merely called on “the armed elements of the Syrian opposition to refrain from all violence only after the government forces” cease attacks. Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov called it a “slightly renewed version of the previous document” Russia and China rejected.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry added:
“We would like to warn our American and European partners from wishful thinking. Russia’s stance on the Syrian settlement has never been subject to any short-term considerations and hasn’t formed under the influence of electoral cycles, unlike that of some of our Western colleagues.”
Syria’s SANA news agency quoted Assad saying:
“The Syrian people, who have in the past managed to crush foreign plots…have again proven their ability to defend the nation and to build a new Syria through their determination to pursue reforms while confronting foreign-backed terrorism.”
RT also said Washington plans more aggressive intervention, including more aid for Syria’s opposition. An unnamed US official said America’s now helping opposition forces overthrow Assad.
Admitting it signifies a significant change in US policy. Is direct military intervention next, putting a lie to Obama’s latest denial of planned aggression.
A Final Comment
Iran’s Fars News Agency says Tehran has “corroborative evidence to prove US involvement in arms smuggling into Syria.”
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian said thousands of weapons and mercenaries have entered a number of Syrian border towns and cities.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar said they’re prepared to help opposition forces. Of course, they’ve been doing it all along with Turkey, Jordan, Washington, Britain, France, and Israel.
Kuwait’s parliament passed a nonbinding resolution calling for providing opposition forces weapons and breaking ties with Damascus.
Washington’s dirty hands want Assad replaced by a pro-Western regime. If current methods fail, expect war to follow.
In recent days, this writer established contact with a Syrian monitoring events on the ground. His name’s unmentioned for his safety.
On March 4, he said a major Al Qaeda figure was arrested in Damascus. The same day, he emailed as follows:
“Sources familiar with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said a secret military order includes plans by senior Syrian military officials to confront a possible United States surprise attack.”
“The plan involves Syria’s military responding immediately and decisively, including launching rocket and missile attacks against Israeli and US targets.”
“Syrian forces established a joint military operations Chamber, involving officers from the Syrian army, Iran, and Hezbollah, to coordinate military action if ordered. This means that any U.S. military attack against Syria Sijah will be met by the greatest possible missile force.”
Clearly the stakes are drawn. Heated rhetoric’s picking up. John McCain wants air attacks launched. Assad’s preparing to respond defensively. Anything ahead may erupt suddenly and violently.
When America plans regime change, everything’s on the table to achieve it, including war. As things now stand, bet on it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected].
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.