Obama admin. floats PR campaign for weapons sent years ago
April 21, 2014
Time reported Monday officials at the White House are seriously considering sending manpads – man-portable air defense systems – to terrorist mercenary groups operating in Syria. Discussion is reportedly underway, but “strong doubts remain about the wisdom of providing missiles to the rebels.”
Syrian mercenaries use Manpad in July, 2013.
Earlier this month, we reported the United States delivered its sophisticated BGM-71 TOW anti-tank weapon to “moderate” mercenary forces in Syria.
Islamists in Syria, aka al-Qaeda and its al-Nusra affiliate, now dominate the proxy war against Bashar al-Assad. “The moderates, often underfunded, fragmented and chaotic, appear no match for Islamist units, which include fighters from organizations designated ‘terrorist’ by the United States,” Reuters reported last June.
In late March, Obama floated the idea of sending the advanced anti-aircraft system. He also reassured the Saudis, who are the primary benefactors of the mercenaries attempting to overthrow the Syrian government, the United States has not abandoned the effort to arm al-Qaeda and other fanatical Islamic groups.
“The introduction of manpads could be a game-changer in Syria, like it was in Afghanistan in the 1980s with Stinger missiles,” an Arab official told Time.
Stinger missiles would eventually be used against the United States military in Afghanistan. In 2007, the Pentagon covered up a reported surface-to-air missile strike by the Taliban that shot down a Chinook helicopter over Helmand, killing seven soldiers.
“The war logs detail at least 10 near-misses by missiles in four years against coalition aircraft, one while refueling at 11,000ft and another involving a suspected Stinger missile of the kind supplied by the CIA to Afghan rebels in the 1980s,” The Guardian reported in 2010.
The latest “discussions” and reservations on the part of the intelligence community cited by Time are nothing more than a calculated public relations campaign for a fait accompli.
On September 14, 2012, three days after ambassador Chris Stevens was murdered in Benghazi, Libya, Sheera Frenkel, a correspondent for the Times of London, reported from Antakya, Turkey that a “Libyan ship carrying the largest consignment of weapons for Syria since the uprising began has docked in Turkey and most of its cargo is making its way to rebels on the front lines.”
Frenkel reported that “more than 400 tonnes of cargo the vessel was carrying were SAM-7 surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), which Syrian sources said could be a game-changer for the rebels.”
It is now known that Stevens was working with the CIA in Benghazi to siphon weapons through Turkey to al-Qaeda and other mercenaries in Syria.
Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported on April 17 that for “months there had been acute concern among senior military leaders and the intelligence community about the role in the war of Syria’s neighbors, especially Turkey. Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan was known to be supporting the al-Nusra Front, a jihadist faction among the rebel opposition, as well as other Islamist rebel groups.”