On Friday, I wrote about a U.S. proxy busted in Lebanon attempting to smuggle weapons into Syria to be used against the al-Assad regime. The story was covered in the Middle East but predictably ignored by the corporate media here with its CIA-manufactured “Arab Spring” narrative supported by Obama’s State Department and Hillary Clinton.
“Turkey’s military will protect the arms caches on their passage to Syrian rebels,” Press TV reports, citing the Israeli intelligence front, Debka. “Syrian rebels have been receiving training inside Turkey to use the weapons for two weeks.”
Since June, Turkey has played host to Syrian opposition figures, going so far as to allow them to meet in the Mediterranean resort of Antalya. “Turkish officials have noticeably ratcheted up anti-Syrian rhetoric, including the top leadership in Ankara,” Indian career diplomatM.K.Bhadrakumar wrote on June 19. “Damascus has alleged that weapons are being smuggled into northern Syria, hotbed of current violence, from Turkey.”
On Tuesday, Turkey warned Syria that it may join any intervention against its neighbor. Turkish President Abdullah Gul sent a letter to Bashar al- Assad saying that should Syrian troops continue attacking its own people, the country would no longer be able to count of Turkey as an alley.
Israeli intelligence, through Debka, confirms Turkish involvement in the effort to overthrow the Syrian government. Debka’s “military sources disclose that for the past two weeks, at least, Syrian protest leaders and army deserters have been training in the use of the new weapons with Turkish military officers at makeshift installations in Turkish bases near the Syrian border.”
NATO and the U.S. are also discussing organizing a “campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels. The Turkish army would house these volunteers, train them and secure their passage into Syria.”
On Thursday, Andrew Rettman, writing for Euobserver.com, reported that NATO will strike Syria and take out al-Assad’s military capability. “The scenario is based on analysts in the French military, from the specialist British publication Jane’s Defense Weekly and from Israel’s Channel 10 TV station,” writes Rettman. “The Syrian air force is said to pose little threat.”
Robert Baer, a former CIA officer in Syria, said however that a NATO strike “would be a total shot in the dark, a hope the military under attack will turn on the regime. But when has this ever happened? It didn’t with [late Iraqi leader] Saddam or [Libyan leader] Gaddafi.”
“Baer previously told this website the turmoil in Syria is more complicated than the image in mainstream media of a downtrodden Sunni Muslim majority calling for reform by the Shia Muslim ruling elite,” Rettman notes.
Baer’s assessment was backed up by Alastair Crooke, a former MI6 officer and high-level EU advisor who runs an NGO in Beirut. “Syrians want change. But whether Westerners believe it or not, most people in Damascus, in Aleppo, the middle classes, the merchant classes and the [sectarian] minorities believe Assad is the only person who can bring in reforms,” he said. “They fear two things above all else – civil war and Western intervention … They would like to avoid the example of Libya because it would lead them into civil war.”
Despite the possibility of another Libyan scenario and the inability of NATO and the U.S. to dislodge Bashar al-Assad’s government, Secretary of State Clinton set the stage for the U.S. and its NATO allies to support a military effort last week when she signaled an effort to ratchet up economic and diplomatic pressure on Syria. On Friday, Clinton met with her Norwegian counterpart Jonas Gahr Stoere. They discussed the situation in Syria.
“The United States will continue to work with our partners to turn this growing consensus into increased pressure and isolation for the Assad regime. In particular, we urge those countries still buying Syrian oil and gas, those countries still sending Assad weapons, those countries whose political and economic support give him comfort in his brutality to get on the right side of history. President Assad has lost the legitimacy to lead, and it is clear that Syria would be better off without him,” Clinton said.