By Bill Van Auken in the USA:
22 June 2012
CIA agents have been deployed to Turkey to organize the arming of the so-called rebels in Syria seeking the overthrow of the government of President Bashar al-Assad, the New York Times reported Thursday.
The report, citing information provided by senior US officials as well as Arab intelligence officers, states that the CIA operatives are directing a massive smuggling operation through which “automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries, including the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, and paid for by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.”
The day before the publication of the Times piece, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland reiterated the Obama administration’s public line. “We have repeatedly said that we are not in the business of arming in Syria.” She went on to describe Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar al-Jaafari as “deluded” for charging that major foreign powers were backing “armed terrorist groups” in his country and trying to escalate Syria’s crisis into an “explosion” in order to bring about “regime change.”
The Times article only confirms earlier press reports and provides further detail in exposing the same, barely covert, operation directed at fomenting and arming a sectarian civil war in Syria.
Last month, the Washington Post reported that the so-called rebels had “begun receiving significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, an effort paid for by Persian Gulf nations and coordinated in part by the United States.” The Post, in its May 16 article, also stated that US operatives had “expanded contacts with opposition forces to provide the gulf nations with assessments of rebel credibility and command-and-control infrastructure.”
And last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that “the Central Intelligence Agency and State Department—working with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and other allies—are helping the opposition Free Syrian Army develop logistical routes for moving supplies into Syria and providing communications training.”
The result of this operation has been a sharp escalation in the armed violence in Syria, with a spike in the number of Syrian soldiers killed and wounded and a proliferation of terrorist attacks.
See also here.
Washington’s hypocrisy over Russian arms in Syria: here.
Syria’s opposition has been led astray by violence. Foreign influence and arms have split Syria’s civil movement, making peace ever more remote: here.
The US is exploiting the disputed incident involving a Turkish plane downed by Syria to intensify its threats against Damascus: here.
Anti-regime “rebels” accused of massacre in northern Syria: here.
Fighting breaks out in Syrian capital as Turkey, NATO threaten war: here.
US-backed gunmen stage massacre at Syrian TV station; here.
US officials – Turkey jet “most likely” downed inside Syria airspace on 22 June: here.