Skip to comments.Disagreements Among Syrian Rebels Over Foreign Arms Shipments
Posted on 03/31/2012 11:06:37 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Those who favor international weapons shipments have been scrambling in recent days to convince the United States and other countries that the rebels can address their main concerns: keeping weapons from falling into the hands of Islamic extremists and from fueling sectarian violence.
Saudi Arabia, which will have representatives at the Friends of Syria meeting in Istanbul, has been a proponent of arming the rebels, and on Friday The Wall Street Journal reported that the kingdom was pressing Jordan, and offering it aid, to open its borders to allow rebel-bound weapons deliveries.
Jordan has denied the report, but it has added to the anxiety over the issue ahead of the gathering of Western and Arab countries in Istanbul on Sunday. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, on her way to the meeting, discussed Syria with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah in Riyadh on Friday.
Any shipments, especially from Saudi Arabia, would raise regional tensions and risk spreading the conflict, since Syria's main backer is Iran, Saudi Arabia's regional rival. Such as move would also play into the Syrian government's argument that the uprising is fueled by foreign powers.
Opponents and proponents of foreign arms shipments to the rebels agree on the same set of intractable problems, mainly that the armed opposition is decentralized, with groups of army defectors and volunteers largely fending for themselves to obtain weapons.
But backers say that despite such issues, there is an urgent need to establish a centralized supply line to the rebels because Islamist groups like the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood are already arming some factions, and are gaining disproportionate influence.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
This image from amateur video released Friday purportedly shows civilians moving with Syrian troops, possibly as human shields, in Idlib, Syria. The information cannot be verified. (Shaam News Network / March 30, 2012)
How are the Saudis going to get the weapons into Syria? The Syrians have closed all its borders with the exception of Lebanon and that border is controlled by Hezbollah. Hezbollah is controlled by both the Syrians and Iranians.
I did forget to mention that Syria has a good relationship with Lebanon
Through Jordan, I think I left that info in the excerpt. Hence the map.
Syria’s border with Jordan is closed also. There are rumors that there are special ops at the border.
Lebanon has been the main source for both rebel arms and for sick and wounded. They also host a good number of refugees, although that number might not climb much more. Most Lebanese despise the Syrian regime for its decades of occupation and for its support of the Hezbollah invaders who have defacto control of the country.
The Syrian regime doesn’t have the border mined, and doesn’t have the kind of manpower to guard the border while fighting its war against the Syrian people. Most of the refugees are now fleeing into Jordan, as Assad rushed forces north to lock down the much more threatening border with Turkey. The Kurds also come and go in the east and NE.
Stars and Stripes reported the Syrians mined all the regular roads into Turkey several weeks ago:
If they use the old trade routes they can get material in. But if his war cabinent is smart, they are probnably watching those roads very closely.
If I thought of it, they probably have come to the same conclusion.
The Turks number over 65 million, and the Turkish armed forces is about 1 percent of that figure (600K), huge. Syria and Turkey have been at odds over water rights (Turkey has been damming the sources and tributaries of the Euphrates for decades now) and historical gripes, but in recent Erdogan had been building a mini version of the old European Common Market, involving itself, Syria, Iran, and with a view to eventually integrating Iraq. When Assad started gunning people down by the dozens, even Erdogan was repulsed.
Traditional enemy of Turkey, Russia, put him back in his box, and Zero wasn’t interested in any kind of US or NATO involvement in Syria, hanging Erdogan out to dry. E also found out that his ally Iran is actually his blood enemy, and aligned with his historical enemy Russia.
from the “Payback’s a Bitch” desk:
Lebanon’s return to Syria-backed rule is likely to keep Hezbollah in check
Late last year or early this year there was an amusing article (maybe here on FR?) about how the Hizzies have had a habit of driving around at night in dark SUVs, going to various Lebanese villages to bust down doors and seize people for interrogation (murder in another location, basically).
So happens that Lebanon is one of the heaviest-armed countries in the world on a per capita basis, and the Lebanese villages now keep a few people up all night to listen for the trucks. When they hear a motorcade, they rouse the town, and the Hizbollah roll right on in to an ambush, and the survivors have to find reverse while under fire.
The gov’t of Lebanon is in name only.
But,Ahmet Davuto(the Turkish Prime Minister)also announced that “We are completely suspending all of these trade relations,all agreements between Turkey and Syria have been suspended.” I concede that.
You are correct. The Lebanese government is in name only.
Some embassies in Damascus have been closed because they are no longer safe. Erdogan thinks it’s important to keep a channel open for dialogue, but he’s said that Assad must go and that what he’s done is reprehensible. And Assad doesn’t want to go, meaning that negotiations won’t work. Assad will have to be killed. The rebels should concentrate on that, instead of worrying about fighting Assad’s thugs.
But Erdorgan has very little influence over Assad. Right now, Assad is conducting his crackdown by the advice of the Russians and the Iranians. As long those parties are with him and supplying him, he has the advantage. Right now there are many foreign fighters augmenting Assad’s army.
However, the Russians can tell Assad to leave power. He would probably listen to them.
I thought the Obama policy was to PROVIDE weapons to islamic extremists and fueling sectarian (or racial) violence....
The rebels represent just a different brand of thugs. Perhaps even less desirable, just based on what we are seeing in Libya and Egypt.
Ah, here it is:
The Russians will provide a place of exile, if Assad manages to escape, which he won’t. And he’d probably prefer Iran if he were to.
Hezbollah is an extension or “proxy” of Syria and Iran.
Hezbollah is an extension or “proxy” of Syria and Iran.
Do not underestimate Assad. There is probably a plane ready and fueled.
I would have a plane ready for an escape. I am sure he took some lessons from Mubarak and Gaddafi on making a quick getaway.