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

  • History links
    Recovered history ESSAYS & ARCHIVES Minutes of the Wannsee Conference Things Irish Protestants should know about their homeland Joan Baez' first radio appearance A brief history of bucking the system Why Nader didn't cause Gore's loss Gene McCarthy Making cities black & poor Pilgrims' folly Washington on fire in 1968 Unsolved myst […]
  • Obama working around the Constitution again
    NY Times - The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats fr […]
  • Race to the bottom: Most evasive White House press answers
    George Stephanopoulos is the winner in 21 years of official evasiveness […]
  • McConnell promises to crash government if Republicans win Senate
    Political Wire - The Nation has audio of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) telling a room of conservative activists how Republicans will shut down parts of the government if they gain control of the U.S. Senate. Said McConnell: "So in the House and Senate, we own the budget. So what does that mean? That means that we can pass the spending bill. And I assure y […]
  • Obama's next war lite
    Global Research - President Barack Obama delivered a militarist speech  to the annual convention of the American Legion in Charlotte, North Carolina amid reports that US spy drones are already operating over Syria and air strikes could begin there by the end of this week.Obama told the veterans’ organization that “the United States is and will remain the one […]
  • Senator Warren to appear on Letterman
    Wednesday September 3 […]
  • CIA messing with journalism again, creating risk for all journalists
    Wayne Madsen, Strategic Culture Foundation - The increasing tendency of the Central Intelligence Agency and other U.S. intelligence agencies to disregard previous prohibitions against the use of journalists as agents puts every legitimate reporter around the world in jeopardy. The CIA has a checkered past in the use of journalists as intelligence agents. The […]
  • Race to the bottom: Burger King
     WORKING AMERICA […]
  • The real Michelle Rhee
    Mercedes Schneider […]
  • Mainers among victims of unconstitutional Real ID law
    Portland Press Herald, ME - Mainers may not be able to board a plane using their driver’s licenses starting in 2016 if the state does not start complying with the federal Real ID program.In 2007, Maine became the first state to reject the federal regulations adopted in response to a study on national security after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Federal off […]
  • State income taxes have little effect on migration
    Off the Charts - The New York Times’ Upshot blog has published a fascinating set of graphs of Census Bureau data on interstate migration patterns since 1900, bolstering our argument that state income taxes don’t have a significant impact on people’s decisions about where to live.We plotted the same Census data, which shows which states do the best job of ret […]
  • Driving your kid in your car is more dangerous than letting them go to the playground alone
    Petula Dvorak, Washington Post - Of all the adventures my lucky children had this summer — swimming in two oceans, hanging out on their bearded uncle’s commercial salmon fishing boat, endless Popsicles — the biggest one, they told me, was just 495 feet away in their own D.C. neighborhood.They got to walk to the corner store on Capitol Hill by themselves. Clu […]
  • Recovered history
    […]
  • Pocket paradigms
    One of the best ways to revive democracy in our country is to make sure that every organization, church, school, or club is run according to its principles.- Sam Smith […]
  • Word
    The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people what they need to have done, but cannot do at all or cannot do so well for themselves, in their separate or individual capacities. - Abraham Lincoln (a Republican by the way) […]