The situation in Syria is best described as being a cluster-fuck. First President Obama was going to bomb Assad and his regime as punishment for probably using chemical weapons in late August. Then the bombing was to commence once Congress voted to authorize it. However, the American people and Congress were dead set against any American military intervention in the more than two-year old Syria civil war and any vote in Congress was likely to go against President Obama. Then there was talk that the administration would launch cruise missiles and air strikes against Syria with or without congressional approval.
Then Secretary of State John Kerry committed a gaffe, as confirmed by the State Department minutes after Kerry opened his mouth, saying that Assad could avoid being bombed if he gave up his chemical weapons. Then Kerry’s gaffe turned into a brilliant piece of diplomatic maneuvering when the Russians and Assad agreed to Kerry’s idea. And now the US and Russia have hammered out a deal in which Assad gets to turn over his chemical weapons to the “international community” with zero mention of any possible consequences should he(and the Russians) fail to comply.
Like I said this whole situation in Syria is one giant cluster-fuck.
If all of that wasn’t enough President Obama this week waived a law that prohibited the transfer of weapons to terrorist because there was no other way to get weapons that President Obama and Senator John McCain want the Syrian rebels to have into their hands.
Why is that?
Because the Syrian rebels are festering with fighters who have sworn allegiance to Al Qaeda or are otherwise affiliated with radical Islamic terrorist groups.
IHS Jane’s has estimated that half(or more) of the fighters in the coalition called the Syrian rebels are either full-throated Jihadist or militant Islamist.
The new study by IHS Jane’s, a defence consultancy, estimates there are around 10,000 jihadists – who would include foreign fighters – fighting for powerful factions linked to al-Qaeda..
Another 30,000 to 35,000 are hardline Islamists who share much of the outlook of the jihadists, but are focused purely on the Syrian war rather than a wider international struggle.
There are also at least a further 30,000 moderates belonging to groups that have an Islamic character, meaning only a small minority of the rebels are linked to secular or purely nationalist groups.
Naturally the fact that the Syrian rebels are nothing more than Islamic terrorist isn’t deterring Senator John McCain.
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain hotly disputed a study claiming that at least half of Syria’s rebels are radical jihadis, repeatedly exclaiming “Not true, not true!”
“Frankly, I just disagree,” McCain told the Council on Foreign Relations audience, challenging the contention by defense consultancy IHS Jane’s that “the insurgency is now dominated by groups with at least an Islamist viewpoint of the conflict.”
“There’s about 70 percent still who are Free Syrian Army,” McCain said, flipping on its head the consulting firm’s research showing that just 30 percent are fighting for secular values.
Senator McCain’s moderate Syrian rebels in recent days lost control of a Turkish border town to Al Qaeda.
Fighters linked to al-Qaeda have overrun a Syrian town near the border with Turkey after fighting broke out with units of the anti-government Free Syrian Army, opposition activists say.
Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant on Wednesday stormed the town of Azaz, 5km from the Syrian-Turkish border, and killed at least five FSA members, the activists said, adding 100 people were taken captive.
When this cluster-fuck that is Syria isn’t on the brink of drawing Turkey into the fighting the Islamist inside the Syrian rebel forces are carrying out suicide bombings(h/t Weasel Zippers).
When the guys McCain and Obama are trying to arm, and help via bombing Assad, aren’t doing suicide bombings they are beheading people.
And when the rebels aren’t doing that they are engaged in an ethnic cleansing of Christians.
From Stars and Stripes:
Syrian rebels, who are mostly Sunni Muslims, have repeatedly shelled Christian neighborhoods in the city, including Kasaa, with its wide avenues, apartment blocks and leafy parks. The opposition Free Syrian Army claims it strikes only government targets, but constant shelling of the civilian quarter suggests otherwise.
Over the past year, many Christians have fled the neighborhood, moving to other areas of the capital or into neighboring Lebanon. Some who remain say they fear the rebels are aiming to achieve “ethnic cleansing” — the policy of eliminating unwanted ethnic or religious groups by terror that gained international notoriety during the Bosnian war 20 years ago.
Many Syrian Christians say they fear becoming victims of the same kind of targeted anti-Christian violence that resulted from the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. This persecution, known here as the “American solution,” caused a massive exodus — of the 1.5 million Christians who lived in Iraq in 2000, less than 300,000 remain today.
“The terrorists are trying to push the Christians out of this area,” said Isan Bahri, the 44-year-old owner of a mechanical shop in the Kasaa district of eastern Damascus that the rebels have been trying to capture. “They are not shooting at the army, they are intentionally aiming for civilians.”
The attacks fit an emerging pattern where fighters of the Free Syrian Army, and other jihadist elements, have targeted civilian members of Syria’s various minority groups — primarily Alawites who traditionally supported the government of President Bashar al-Assad, himself an Alawite. But other groups, including the Kurds, Druze and Christians, who together with the Alawites make up a quarter of Syria’s 22.5 million people, are also seen as supportive of the secular government and therefore viewed as enemies. This week, some 30,000 Syrian Kurds fled into Iraq’s Kurdistan region saying they were being killed by jihadists targeting the minority.
Make no mistake Bashir al-Assad is a bad guy. For years he has been a state sponsor of terrorism and an ally of the Iranians. Assad is also closely aligned with the terrorist group Hezbollah to the point that its fighters have joined with his military to combat the Al Qaeda infested rebels.
What’s even more troubling are reports that Assad has been moving some of his chemical weapons into the hands of Hezbollah for safe keeping in Lebanon in advance of this deal worked out between President Obama and Secretary Kerry and the Russians.
The Jerusalem Post has more on that:
Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces are smuggling chemical weapons to Hezbollah hidden in trucks carrying vegetables in order to escape international chemical inspection, Syrian opposition member Dr. Kamal Labwani told Saudi newspaper Al Watan on Monday.
The chemical arms are set to be stored in Hezbollah-controlled mountain areas of Lebanon, where it will be difficult to find and monitor them.
Syria has also been able to smuggle the bulk of its chemical arsenal to Russian warships stationed off the coast of Syria, Labwani said.
On Sunday, Lebanese daily Al-Mustaqbal reported Syria has moved 20 trucks worth of equipment and material used for the manufacturing of chemical weapons into Iraq, but Baghdad has denied allegations that it is helping the Syrian government conceal chemical stockpiles.
The report came just a day after the United States and Russia struck a deal stipulating that the Assad regime would destroy its chemical arsenal to avert an American military assault.
To top off this cluster-fuck it should be noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government have been giving arms and other support to Assad for many years now and continues to do so even after the chemical weapon attack on civilians nearly a month ago.
Good Lord Almighty has this thing turned into a giant mess. A mess that the United States has no business getting itself into.
This deal with Assad and the Russians will never be complied with.
Obama will never get congressional, let alone international, support to attack Syria anytime soon.
And all the while terrorist are fighting terrorist with Syria’s civilians and ethnic and religious minorities caught in the middle.
If anyone in Syria needs to be given arms or support in Syria it is the Christians there.