John McCain is celebrating.
A video attributed to the Free Syrian Army apparently shows a US-supplied TOW missile destroying a Russian helicopter.
McCain and the neocons have decried Russia’s efforts to rollback the FSA and jihadist groups trying to take down the government of Bashar al-Assad.
“Their initial strikes were against the individuals and groups that have been funded and trained by our CIA in an incredible flaunting of any kind of co-operation or effort to conceal what Putin’s first priority is, and that is of course to prop up Bashar al-Assad,” McCain said in October.
McCain likes to claim his FSA buddies are just like his constituents back in Arizona—reasonable folks, mostly secular, certainly not wild-eyed jihadists.
“The FSA is not moderate and it does not claim to be. Most of its leaders and commanders have a strong jihadist tendency and they call their war against Damascus a holy war. FSA units and brigades carry Islamic names. Their black headbands are adorned with Koranic verses. They also launch their attacks and fire rockets to the cry of Allahu Akbar,” writes Ayub Nuri.
The video attributed to the FSA’s 1st Coastal Division, formerly known as the Brigade of the Chargers, calls the Russians “infidels,” thus revealing the group is not moderate.
Despite its jihadist orientation, the FSA group is supported by the Friends of Syria Group, an organization initiated by then-French president Nicolas Sarkozy in 2014. Members of the Friends of Syria Group include the United States, France, Turkey, the Gulf Emirates, the Arab League, the European Union and the United Nations.
In October a Saudi Arabian official disclosed that the Sunni kingdom sent 500 TOW missiles to its proxies in Syria.
“The delivery of the TOW missiles—which have also been provided by the CIA—will increase the capabilities of the FSA against Syrian armor, and it would enable them to more effectively battle against Assad’s recent military advances,” Business Insider reported.
The proxy war in Syria is shaping up to be a rerun of the CIA’s war in Afghanistan. It is too early to determine if Russia will abandon Syria like it did Afghanistan in 1989.