Categorized | National

Obama to Send Weapons to Syrian Rebels

 

Civil War Escalates with US Support 

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

The White House appears intent to send military aid to Syrian rebels with key lawmakers raising concerns that U.S. weapons will inevitably fall into the hands of terrorist
groups who count themselves among hundreds of factions
that form the rag-tag Free Syrian Army. 

The operation is shaping up to be similar to the one executed in Libya:  just wash, rinse, and repeat.  Libya, however, is still in disarray nearly two years after our involvement there.

President Obama, seeking to stem a bloody civil war that has now claimed more than 93,000 lives, has authorized food and medicine for the rebels seeking to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad but had stopped short of military aid.  That’s about to change.

Word of the stepped up assistance followed new U.S. intelligence assessments showing that Assad has used chemical weapons, including sarin, on a small scale multiple times in the last year.  U.S. intelligence estimates 100 to 150 people have been killed in those attacks, the White House said, constituting a small percentage of the people killed in Syria over the last two years.

The White House said it believes Assad’s regime still maintains control of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles and does not see any evidence that rebel forces have launched attacks using the deadly agents.

But with U.S. officials confirming Assad’s use of chemical weapons against civilians – crossing Obama’s “red line” – the White House strongly indicated that weapons are on the way.

drones3The president has made the decision to authorize additional assistance, but we’re not going into specifics,” National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said this morning.

“The president has been very clear that all options are on the table, with the exception of U.S. troops on the ground.  That is not a possibility,” Meehan said.

Initial military aid is expected to consist of small arms and ammunition the rebel forces could operate without significant
training. 

The Washington Post reported:

U.S. officials said the administration could provide the rebels with a range of weapons, including small arms, ammunition, assault rifles and a variety of anti-tank weaponry such as shoulder-fired remote-propelled grenades and other missiles.  However, a final decision on the inventory has not been made, the officials said.”

But the opposition Free Syrian Army said on Friday those weapons would be largely “meaningless.”  The Syrian Opposition Coalition called for more “strategic and decisive” support.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. could try to establish a “no-fly zone” inside Syria to protect civilians fleeing the fighting and rebels who might train there.  The White House did not say if this is an option currently under consideration.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who recently met with Syrian rebel leaders,  said he was told Thursday that Obama had decided to “provide arms to the rebels,” a decision confirmed by three U.S. officials.  But McCain said on the Senate floor Thursday that the rebels desperately need more powerful armaments.

“These people of the Free Syrian Army need weapons and heavy weapons to counter tanks and aircraft, they need a no-fly zone,” McCain said. “Just providing arms is not enough.” McCain said.

freedom1Obama will discuss broader problems in Syria next week during the G-8 summit in Northern Ireland.  Among those attending will be Russian President Vladimir Putin, a staunch ally of the Assad regime.  Obama and Putin will hold a one-on-one meeting on the sidelines of the summit, where the US leader is expected to press his Russian counterpart to drop his political and military support for the Syrian government.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s foreign affairs adviser said Friday Moscow is not convinced Syria has used chemical weapons, saying the information provided by U.S. officials to Russia “didn’t look convincing.” 

Syria has denied the use of chemical weapons and calls the US claims “a pack of lies.”

US support may be too little too late.  20,000 pro-regime fighters from Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iran are already preparing for a major assault on the main city of Aleppo that is set to begin anytime.

* * * * * * *

You can read more in The New York Times’ “U.S. Is Said to Plan to Send Weapons to Syrian Rebels

Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • MIT study predicts grim climate decay
    Environmental News Network - Global temperature is likely to rise 3.3-5.6 degrees Celsius by the end of this century, unless international climate negotiations in Paris next year are more effective than expected, according to a report released Monday by the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. The predicted temperature increase surpa […]
  • Race to the Bottom: Democrats
    The worst, weakest and/or least effectiveHillary Clinton Barack Obama Arne Duncan John Kerry Eric Holder Bill Clinton Chuck Schumer Diane Feinstein […]
  • Pocket paradigm
    Empires and cultures are not permanent and while thinking about the possibility that ours is collapsing may seem a dismal exercise it is far less so than enduring the dangerous frustrations and failures involved in having one's contrary myth constantly butt up against reality like a boozer who insists he is not drunk attempting to drive home. Instead of […]
  • Word
    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result -- Albert Einstein […]
  • The Post Office pays a visit
     From 50 years of our obverstocked archivesSam Smith, 2000- Government censorship was never much of a problem for us. Other publications, however, did not fare as well. In B.W. (Before Web) the Post Office was the most powerful prude around. As a young radio reporter in 1959, I interviewed the Assistant Postmaster General on the subject of obscenity in his o […]
  • What's happening
    The Smithsonian's African American History Museum will help you determine if your junk is culturally significant Low-income drivers face higher auto insurance, even when they have clean driving recordsJohn Cleese  analyzes Fox NewsCalifornia ends higher penalties for crack vs. cocaine   A good reason not to live in Louisiana: - Police in Louisiana are u […]
  • Number of world's wild animals halved in part 40 years
    The Guardian - The number of wild animals on Earth has halved in the past 40 years, according to a new analysis. Creatures across land, rivers and the seas are being decimated as humans kill them for food in unsustainable numbers, while polluting or destroying their habitats, the research by scientists at WWF and the Zoological Society of London found.“If ha […]
  • White House abuses free press again
    CBS DC  - First lady Michelle Obama appeared with Burke in Milwaukee...Meg Kissinger, a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, posted on Facebook that she was told by a White House aide that she was not allowed to talk to people in the crowd.“Assigned to cover Michelle Obama’s speech today and was told by a Mary Burke aide and one for the White House t […]
  • Bill Gates compares America's students to electric plugs and railroad tracks
    Robby Soave, Hit & Run -  Bill Gates was atypically direct about what peddlers of standardization are trying to accomplish during a Politico event. Rather than defend Common Core from accusations of creeping nationalization, he finally confirmed that yes, this is exactly what Core proponents are trying to accomplish—less local autonomy is a good thing, a […]
  • Yale Episcoplian chaplain forced to resign for not being a Zionist
    Mondoweiss […]
  • How one cop chatted with another before killing a homeless man
    KOB, NM - Two hours before Albuquerque Police Officer Keith Sandy shot and killed homeless camper James Boyd, he was recorded telling another officer that he would shoot Boyd in the penis with a shotgun. Sandy responded to the scene on March 16th where Boyd refused to come down from a makeshift campsite in the foothills near Tramway and Copper.  At the scene […]
  • The nameless war
    Paul Shinkman, US News - When asked most recently whether the military operations in Iraq and Syria had a code name, the Pentagon spokesman continued what has become a string of blunt answers.“No. It has not,” Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said. He added, “I know of no plans at this time to name it.”And so, what could be one of the defining battles of the early […]
  • Why Moral Mondays is important
    Amos Brown, Indianapolis Recorder -  “Moral Mondays” is a movement born out of a struggle of people dealing with an inflexible, ultra-conservative, overwhelmingly Republican Legislature and Governor in North Carolina.In the Tar Heel State, the organization combined activism, peaceful civil disobedience and intense grassroots communications and lobbying to st […]
  • Why Netanyahu is full of it about Hamas and ISIS/ISIL
    Juan Cole:1. Hamas has foresworn attacks on the United States and other Western countries, presenting itself as a national liberation movement against Israeli military occupation (an occupation that has lasted since 1967 in Gaza). ISIL on the other hand has called on radicals to attack the US and Europe.2. Hamas has joined a national unity government with th […]
  • Race to the bottom
    The top of the worst, based on actions, stats & statements over the past year  Republicans Ted Cruz John BoehnerRand Paul  John McCain Paul Ryan Mitch McConnell Darrell Issa Marco Rubio Chris Christie Mike Huckabee Scott Walker […]