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Syrian Assistance is reporting today that despite widespread pledges financial and military assistance from western countries and the certain knowledge in certain Left quarters that the whole uprising is western backed, the Syrian revolutionaries ate still receiving no substantial help:

Syria rebels' arms supplies and finances drying up despite western pledges

01/04/13 By Julian Borger

Despite widespread pledges of support from western and Arab states, the main Syrian opposition coalition says it has still not seen any significant increase in funding or arms supplies.

Members of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, formed in November, say that there is still no sign of western capitals relaxing their ban on delivering weapons to the rebels and that even Gulf Arab governments, which helped arm opposition groups last year, are supplying less with every passing week.

"The supplies are drying up. It is still Syrian ex-pats – individuals - who are providing the funding by and large," said a Syrian businessman who has helped to fund the opposition since the uprising began 22 months ago.

As a result, he said, the fragmented rebel forces have changed strategy, giving up hopes of a sweep through the country, and focusing instead on a gradual war of attrition: besieging isolated government military bases to stop the regime using planes and helicopters against them and ultimately to capture weapons, to compensate for the meagre supplies from abroad.

Opposition groups claim to be close to overrunning a regime helicopter base near the northern town of Taftanaz, in Idlib province, posting a video online purporting to show a captured tank firing at government armoured vehicles and helicopters inside the perimeter walls of the base.

"The battles now are at the gates of the airport," Fadi al-Yassin, an activist based in Idlib told the Associated Press, adding that the base commander, a brigadier general, had been killed in the fighting on Thursday.

Yassin said that it had become very difficult for the regime helicopters to take off and land at the base, but warplanes from airfields further south, in the central province of Hama and the coastal region of Latakia, were bombarding rebel fighters besieging Taftanaz.

President Bashar al-Assad's government also claimed to be advancing in Daraya, a Damascus suburb close to another military air base and some government headquarters.

As it has become increasingly clear that large-scale external assistance is unlikely to materialise, the many locally-based rebel groups have found ways of sustaining themselves militarily and financially, but have largely given up hoping for a sudden breakthrough.

"What you are going to see is one or two air bases beginning to fall, particularly in the north, in Aleppo and Idlib," the opposition financier said. "But there is a law of diminishing returns. As these bases are encircled there is less bounty in each one as the government has been moving out assets when it becomes clear the bases are going to fall."

In November, the rebels succeeded in bringing down some government aircraft with shoulder-launched missiles captured in a regime base, but Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch said sightings of such missiles have faded in recent weeks.

"There was a spike late last year, but there have been no signs of any more since that capture, and there is no evidence we have seen of foreign-supplied missiles," he said.

Over the past two months, the US, UK and France as well as other European states and the Gulf monarchies have declared the newly formed national coalition "the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people", in what they hoped would be a turning point in bringing some cohesion to the deeply divided opposition, and in forging links between those in exile and rebel commanders inside Syria.

Such links have continued to be elusive, however, and both the new coalition and its backers are blaming each other, in rows reminiscent of the problems that dogged its forerunner, the Syrian National Council. Western governments have made disbursements of aid dependent on proven control over rebel forces in Syria and credible assurances that the assistance would not further the aims of extremist Islamist groups like the Nusra front, declared a terrorist organisation by the US. Opposition leaders complain that without significant aid they have little hope of rallying support or exerting any control over the chaotic anti-Assad effort.

"We don't even money for airplane tickets," one complained.

"It is little unfair of the international community and particular the French to bestow this title [of sole legitimate representative] on the coalition and not follow through," said Salman Shaikh, of the Brookings Institution's Doha Centre thinktank, which played a role in bringing together disparate Syrian activist and opposition groups last year. "If they cannot provide for people in the north, which I suspect will come under full opposition control this year, then the people on the ground will question what is the point. And what you will get is just more factionalism."

Anti-government protest in Harasta, Damascus Syria | 4 Jan 2013

Leeds University Flashmob for Syria | Human Rights Week | 28 Nov 2012

Published on Jan 3, 2013
Leeds University Amnesty International organised a flash mob outside Leeds University Union with members of Leeds Friends of Syria in order to raise awareness for the humanitarian crisis in Syria during Human Rights Week November 2011.

The flashmob formed part of a wider Syria campaign, which also involved a panel discussion, a film showing of the documentary The Suffering Grasses, and a collection for the convoy to Syria. Throughout the week, LUU Amnesty and Leeds for Syria managed to raise an incredible £823.90 for the Road to Syria Aid Convoy, as well as collecting close to 400 signatures for the Amnesty Syria petition and spreading awareness of the situation across campus.

The situation in Syria is dire, and though governments lack the political will to intervene, awareness raising stunts are important in order to keep Syria in the hearts and minds of the World so that political leaders know that we care and want action.

Click here for a list of my other Daily Kos dairies on Syria

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

    by Clay Claiborne on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 01:26:25 PM PST

  •  I wonder (0+ / 0-)

    how much that has to do with our Hilary being ill and unable to meet round the clock with all the significant players and nudge them into doing the right thing

    In the end we know how this will end, the regime will fall, the question is how fast and how many more will be killed.  

    While I am sure there are competent people working in her stead, it isn't her, she gets things moving.  

    "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

    by anna shane on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 01:30:01 PM PST

    •  I don't think Hillary is moving in the direction (0+ / 0-)

      you think. Hilary has publicly said on several occasions that arming the rebels would create more bloodshed within the country and would not help topple Assad. Her words kinda remind me of George H. W. Bush when he urged the Shia to rise up against Saddam after Iraq War I. After they rose up, Saddam slaughtered them while America watched. A good empire knows how to get the restless natives fighting each other.

      Also see my post below "The enemy of my enemy is my friend?"

      Clinton: Arming Syria rebels could help Al-Qaeda

      US officials, too, have expressed backing for those intent on toppling Assad, and senior lawmakers including Senator John McCain have said it's time to consider arming the rebel groups.

      Clinton poured cold water on such action.

      "We really don't know who it is that would be armed," the top US diplomat told CBS News during a visit to Morocco, as she noted that Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has expressed support for the Syrian rebels.
      Clinton also appeared to signal to everyday Syrians that it was time to rise up against the regime.

      "What about the people in Damascus, what about the people in Aleppo? Don't they know that their fellow Syrian men, women, and children are being slaughtered by their government? What are they going to do about it? When are they going to start pulling the props out from under this illegitimate regime?"

      Maybe the US and NATO are waiting for Assad to kill off a few thousand more jihadists for them. They've had a rough time doing it in Af/Pak, Yemen and North Africa. 50,000 lives lost is no biggy for the US when going after Al Qaeda and other terrorists. Just look to Iraq and Afghanistan for proof of this.

      Al-Zawahiri, father and son, are much bigger fish than Bin Laden because they are in a command and control structure. Bin Laden was just a figure head and financier.

  •  And? (5+ / 0-)

    Do you suggest that the United States fund the rrevolution there?  Perhaps we should send in an invading army to Syria, thereby becoming the imperialist power there, and depose Assad?  

    Isn't Quatar (and the Saudis) funding them?

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 01:30:15 PM PST

    •  Apparently not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

      by Clay Claiborne on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 01:33:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Amen Tom. Look I Wish Everybody To Be Free (4+ / 0-)

      but this isn't our fight.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 01:49:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Certainly, but it depends on who "them" are, (9+ / 0-)

      "Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, according to American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats. "

      "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

      by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 01:52:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So long as the Saudis are behind something (3+ / 0-)

        you can expect the hardliner religionists to come out on top.  Saudis are desperate to thwart a Shia' crescent, following the misfire in Iraq and are facing an Arab Spring among their neighbors.

      •  Well, crap... (4+ / 0-)

        I find myself agreeing with and even tipping BigAl :~) Seriously, though, I was just about to post a link to a Reuters piece that coveres the same ground as your NYT link. At this point, my opinion is that any arms we (the US) might supply to the opposition groups we favor will simply become weapons for regional warlords and their militias in a protracted post-Assad struggle for dominance. If there was an appropriate time for more forceful US engagement in Syria (and I don't believe there ever was), that time has long since passed...

        Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

        by angry marmot on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 04:47:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  @ angry marmot: The original argument was (0+ / 0-)

          that the west should  provide the mainstream FSA with some modern weaponry that could be used to counter the regime's monopoly of artillery, armour and airpower, and thus end their need to depend on jihadist bomb-making skills. That day has, of course, now passed, and the opposition forces are acquiring them  on their own (although at the cost of tilting the political balance towards the jihadists). So, while it would be nice if the mainstream FSA didn't run out of ammunition quite so often, the urgency of western support has evaporated. In the process a number of negative dynamics have emerged - including the one that you refer to.
          But what you, and all the pessimistic commentators, ignore, is the potential role of the civilian opposition, which has shown remarkable resilience and is still very much alive  (and appears rather un-jihadist:
          There is a strong sense of Syrian civic nationalism here, which will cut against fragmenting forces. Post-Assad Syria will see all sorts of forces unleashed - positive and negative - but I wouldn't pre-judge the outcome so readily.

    •  that is the problem; Russia absolutely objects (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe from Lowell

      to any Western intervention (over concern for their military base there) and also recognizes there is an Iranian/Saudi proxy fight going on here.

      There is a lack of will in the US to become involved in another foreign adventure, as we are financially and personally spent, and the topography of Syria advocates against a Libyan style intervention.

      Question is if Assad has an "out" and if he will accept one or if he is determined to become another Qaddafi.  

      •  hard to tell with him (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe from Lowell

        he seems to be a real 19th century guy, does not care how many he kills, or how, or how the world views him.  But his own insiders are looking for escapes.  They need to all have an out.

        "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

        by anna shane on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:17:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I confess to not understanding the Syrian regime (0+ / 0-)

        Qaddafi was semi-deranged (albeit with an intelligent successor in the wings) and had a totally personalist set-up - so no surprise that things played out as they did. But Assad gives the impression of being of this world, and his regime seems more socially grounded. Yet he also seems prepared destroy the country rather than step aside.I remember reading an interview with some oppositionists who said that they expectected a sigificant crisis after the18 July bomb which killed key figures in the security establishment. It didn't happen and they said something like "the regime appears not to be controlled by the people we thought". If they don't know, who does?

    •  Just like we're now the imperialist power (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe from Lowell

      in Libya.

      Oh wait, that's right: we're not.

    •  That's quite the leap. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Providing resources to an indigenous popular uprising, and sending in an invading army, are pretty much polar opposites.

      As Libya showed, it is indeed possible to support the locals without invading and occupying a country.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 09:27:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have been hearing similar things recently (2+ / 0-)

    about donor fatigue and reluctance.

    I have also been hearing that this is also - disgracefully - the case in international efforts to raise money for humanitarian aid for the people of Syria.

    Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

    by InAntalya on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:46:35 PM PST

    •  Don't forget that many nations are up to their (0+ / 0-)

      necks in debt and can hardly support their own social programs. It's going to take at least a 100 billion to put Syria back together again. Unlike Libya, there's no way in hell that the country can afford to do that without massive influxes of money.

      It's going to take a decade or more to get back to where it was at the start of hostilities (which was pretty shitty to start with).

  •   National Movement for Syria's Rescue (5+ / 0-)

    I wonder how much support, from within and without the country, will this group will get.

       Published on Jan 3, 2013

        A new Syrian coalition by the name of "National Movement for Syria's Rescue" has been announced today (Jan 3, 2013) in Beirut, Lebanon. It is comprised of Syrian figures from the opposition, regime loyalists, and the "silent majority". The group claims to speak on behalf of Syria's silent majority, which does not want a Sharia-based Islamist-run state but rather a democratic and secular state. This meeting was first in a series of meetings that this coalition will be holding in Cairo, Damascus, and Tunis. Those meetings' aim is to get enough support to counter what they referred to as the Muslim Brotherhood project whose center is Istanbul, Turkey.

        Some of the issues the new coalition will be working on is to reach out to as many external and internal forces as possible to engage in a national dialogue and to uncover any links that exist between the "Doha Coalition" (Syrian National Coalition) and the al-Qaeda Wahhabi Takfiri groups currently fighting on the ground. The statement also stressed that the Syrian Army is a 'red line'.

    •  Democracy? (5+ / 0-)

      Will of the people?

      No one wants that.

      Kind of like how many people are rushing to the aid of the Syrians displaced because of the civil war being pushed by Saudi/Qatar/France/Turkey/US/England. They have no problem pretending to care about Syrians in speeches, but A. don't give a damn about basic rights in the own countries, B. don't give a damn about the refugees caused by their policy of 100% support of a rebels that don't have full support. C. And I'd love to see a history of France, and their love the peoples of Niger and Chad where they get cheap Uranium....the love of England for the peoples of the world they ruled....the love of Saudis for freedom of speech, woman's rights, political movements....the love of Qatar for poets.....

      Yet we are told this damn coalition is supporting a Jeffersonian Democracy (and by Jeffersonian Democracy I'm using the fanciful version and excluding his inability to treats blacks and women as humans).

    •  Always suspect claims for the "silent majority" (0+ / 0-)

      Any jumped up cabal can invoke this label - and that's pretty much what this group looks like. They largely repeat the regime's narrative - not surprising since their chief spokesman seems to be Omar Oussi, a member of the regime parliament from the official "opposition" and all-round lackey of the regime. Nabil Fayed has some credentials as a liberal opponent of Assad, but seems to have gone off the rails judging from this video.
      There are two possibilities: either it will disappear into the mists never to  be seen again; or it will be harnessed by the regime and its allies (RT seems to be its main publicist ) to try and create a pliable opposition with whom it can pretend to negotiate.

      •  Care to provide links to your assertions about (0+ / 0-)

        Omar Oussi - "all-round lackey of the regime"?

          •  So he is an "all-round lackey" for pointing out (0+ / 0-)

            the obvious?

            From your link:

            In an interview with the Syrian TV also on Saturday, Aussi added that the assassination was executed by external sides and armed terrorist groups in the country in the context of eliminating the political, academic and religious prominent figures and instigating sedition between the Kurds and the state.

            He stressed that after those external sides and the armed terrorist groups failed in fulfilling their scheme, they resorted to the acts of destruction, chaos and sabotage.

            He pointed out that Kurds, as all the Syrians, will not be deceived by such acts, highlighting that the Kurds are patriots and with the reform program.

            Whenever I look at conflicting stories, I always think of 'Cui Bono'.

            Up to this point, the Kurds had been kept out of the fray and were trying to stay neutral. There was an agreement to offer the Kurds citizenship in return for their neutrality in the conflict. After the assassination the Kurds joined mass protests against Assad.

            Looking at Omar Oussi's history, I see someone who wanted to work within the system and who was hopeful for reforms by the Syrian government in much the same way as the Obama administration was doing during the years leading up to the revolt. The National Movement for Syria's Rescue's position appears to be close to Washington's position. They want Assad to go but keep aspects of the regime such as the military to prevent the country from disintegrating into anarchy afterwards. Both want to keep the Kurds within Syria and not set up an autonomous region as Meshaal Tammo was working for.

            This is also something Turkey would insist on. It has already passed legislation to allow it to overfly Syria and bomb the Kurds if they tried to set up an autonomous region.

            Two parties have benefited most from the assassination of Meshaal Tammo - the opposition and Turkey.

            •  @Claudius B: You miss the point about this (0+ / 0-)

              Which  is that the assassination of Mashaal Tammo was seen by almost everyone apart from regime supporters as an act perpetrated by the regime. That's why some 50 000 demonstrators took to the streets (five of whom were killed by the security forces), led by one of his sons who stated "My father's assassination is the screw in the regime's coffin," he told the New York Times. "They made a big mistake by killing my father." There had been a previous attempt on Tammo's life a month earlier after which he stated, "The regime issues the order. But, of course, acquaintances will carry out the order. The regime has many henchmen. We have received information that attempts will be made on the lives of well-known figures. It is not important who carries out the orders, what is more important is that it is the government that issues the orders.”
              So you know better than Tammo, his son, and 50 000 kurds, do you?
              The despicable Oussi communicates through the official state media, parrots the regime's narrative, and provides cover for a murderous attack on his own community. You're welcome to him as a role model if you wish.

              •  Lots of fingers in the Kurdish pie (0+ / 0-)

                Hervin Ose, friend of fellow Syrian Kurdish activist Mashaal Tammo,  accused the PKK of having played a role in her friend's killing. "They had threatened Mashaal many times," she says. "They attacked my house in Damascus, and they told me, exactly, 'We will kill you and kill Mashaal ... not by night but by day.' " They warned her not to work with the mainstream Arab opposition, she says, telling her, "You are not good for what we want."

                What does the PKK want in Syria?

                Mr. Öcalan’s Philosophy
                Tuesday, 8 Jan, 2013
                Syria’s Kurds learn lessons from the architect of Kurdish self-determination
                One of the few winners of the Syrian uprising are the country’s Kurds. For the first time Syrian Kurds are running their own affairs independently of Damascus under the tutelage of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan.

                Qamishli and Hasake remain the only cities in the Kurdish-majority area where regime security forces maintain a presence—but even in those, alongside pictures and statues of the Assads that remain intact, Kurds now enjoy levels of political and cultural freedoms unparalleled by those they had during fifty years of Ba’ath Party rule. Uniquely for Kurdish peoples in the region, these freedoms have been won at relatively little cost to Kurdish life and property. It is a remarkable turnaround for a people whose own rebellion in March 2004 was brutally suppressed, and many of whose members were denied Syrian citizenship as recently as last year.

                The decision to reverse the findings of the 1962 census and offer nationality rights to an estimated three hundred thousand Kurds, made by Bashar Al-Assad soon after the outbreak of the uprising, was dismissed by the Arab opposition as a bribe. It may well have been. Syria’s Kurds do not endorse Assad’s brutal crackdown, but neither have they offered wholehearted support to the Arab opposition. Instead, they appear to have steered a cautious middle course, guided by Kurdish national interests.

                How those interests are defined is the primary concern of the Syrian franchise of the Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK), the separatist militant organization that has waged war against Turkey’s military since 1984. It has set up the PYD in Syria, and this affiliate is at the center of the Kurdish quest to capitalize on the growing weakness of central government control, more than any other party. Its strategy is informed by the PKK’s experiences in Turkey, where concessions have been won through a combination of military pressure and—more importantly—political organization.

                The PYD aims not to establish its own nation-state (a near impossibility in the circumstances) but to implement a form of Kurdish autonomy that can co-exist with whomever happens to rule from Damascus. It is a new path towards Kurdish autonomy—quite possibly independence in all but name—and it may just work in a fractured and war-torn Syria just as it has done in Iraq.
                Syria offers a more realistic prospect for the implementation of democratic confederalism. For a start, it is much weaker than Turkey, and contains a Kurdish minority large enough to sustain calls for autonomy. Then there is the geopolitics: as Assad gets progressively weaker, powers as divergent as Iran and the US will be courting the Kurds as a counterweight to the Sunni Islamists. Its neighbors in Iraqi Kurdistan provide a working model to emulate because the Iraqi region runs its own affairs independently of Baghdad rather well, having avoided the sectarian bloodletting that engulfed the rest of the country. There is also an energy interest, with the YPG already providing security for the smooth running of oil installations in Al-Hasakah Governorate. The fact that Syria is an artificial state whose borders were drawn by Britain and France with little attention paid to ethnic and tribal continuity is a further, historical, reason why democratic confederalism may succeed there but fail in Turkey.

  •  The enemy of my enemy is my friend? Tangled (5+ / 0-)

    politcis of Syria.

    al-Qaeda chief's younger brother arrested in Syria for aiding rebels

    The brother of al-Qaeda chief Ayman Zawahiri has been arrested, it was revealed last night.

    Mohammed Zawahiri, 59, was seized by Syrian troops as he prepared to meet up with rebels in Darya, outside Damascus.

    But Western intelligence fears the arrest could lead to more bloodshed.

    A source said: “Zawahiri junior has set himself up as something of a peace maker in the Middle East, although he holds the same ideals as al-Qaeda.

    “He believes in the spread of Islam, Sharia law and has supported terrorist acts against the west, justifying them as jihad against oppressors of the Islamic faith.

    “This development could well enhance the al-Qaeda leadership’s interest in promoting violence across Syria as Zawahiri junior is well-respected by the network.”

    Ayman, 61, took over from Osama bin Laden after he was killed by US Navy SEALs.

  •  Waiting for Undecided Syrians (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InAntalya, BigAlinWashSt
    Rebellion at Stalemate, Waiting for Undecided Syrians to Make a Move

    BEIRUT, Lebanon — At his government office in the Syrian capital, Damascus, the civil servant avoids discussing what Syrians call “the situation.” But he quietly ponders his own private endgame, toying with defecting to the rebels, yet clinging to his post, increasingly sure there are no fighters worth joining.

     A multilingual former military officer, he says he is among many friends and colleagues who feel trapped: disenchanted with President Bashar al-Assad, disgusted by the violence engulfing Syria and equally afraid of the government and the rebels, with both sides, as he puts it, ready to sacrifice “the innocents.”

    Mr. Assad remains in power in part because two years into the uprising, a critical bloc of Syrians remains on the fence. Among them are business owners who drive the economy, bankers who finance it, and the security officials and government employees who hold the keys to the mundane but crucial business of maintaining an authoritarian state. If they abandoned the government or embraced the rebels en masse, they might change the tide. Instead, their uncertainty contributes to the stalemate.
     The fence sitters include government employees, security forces, intellectuals and wealthy Syrians. Some, including members of Mr. Assad’s minority Alawite sect, say they fear the rule of Islamists, or the calls for vengeance from some factions of the Sunni Muslim-dominated uprising.

    Some are former soldiers who say they defected only to be disappointed by rebels who lack discipline or obsess about religious ideology. One young man, Nour, said he gave up on revolution when he tried to join an Islamist brigade, Al Tawhid, but was rejected for wearing skinny jeans.

  •  The West and the Gulf monarchies (6+ / 0-)

    are having second thoughts about the wisdom of regime change in Syria.

    From Reuters 20 December 2012:

    Members of the group interviewed by Reuters say al-Nusra aims to revive the Islamic Caliphate, which dates back to the Prophet Mohammad's seventh century companions, forerunners of the large empire that once stretched into Europe.

    That prospect alarms many in Syria, from minority Christians, Alawites and Shi'ites to traditionally conservative but tolerant Sunni Muslims who are concerned that al-Nusra would try to impose Taliban-style rule.

    Fear of religion-based repression has already prompted Kurds to barricade their quarter of Aleppo city and was behind fierce clashes between Kurdish and al-Nusra fighters in the border town of Ras al Ain in November.

    Another neo-con plan gone awry. Why do they still have any policy making influence? Nothing to show for it but misery and piles of victims of their bloody failures and destruction.
    The mercenaries coming into Syria are veterans of the Libya, Iraq, and other war theaters. They are coming from Libya, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Chechnya, and elsewhere. They are Sunni fundamentalists. Syrian society is largely Sunni — not necessarily the Salafi/Wahhabi/Al Qaeda stripe though. Which is often linked to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the petro-monarchies, and the greasy oil money of the Gulf countries. I don’t suspect many Alawites, Druze, and Christians support the US/Western-backed Islamists/Al Qaeda.


    Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

    by truong son traveler on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 05:05:12 AM PST

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