Many now believe Syria is headed towards a prolonged and bloody stalemate. But that’s not for lack of the West’s trying. Philip Giraldi, a former senior CIA officer whose career postings included Turkey, has just written in the US magazine ‘The American Conservative’ that : “Unmarked NATO warplanes are arriving at Turkish military bases close to Iskenderum on the Syrian border, delivering weapons from the late Muammar Gadaffi’s arsenals as well as volunteers from the Libyan Transitional National Council who are experienced in pitting local volunteers against trained soldiers, a skill they acquired confronting Gadaffi’s army. Iskenderum is also the seat of the Free Syrian Army, the armed wing of the Syrian National Council. French and British special forces trainers are on the ground assisting the Syrian rebels while the CIA and US Spec Ops are providing communications equipment and intelligence…..Syrian government claims that it is being assaulted by rebels who are armed, trained and financed by foreign governments are more true than false”. None of this has been mentioned in the Western press: why not?
Clearly this is a well-organised effort by US/NATO to foment civil war in northern Syria, using Turkey as the US proxy, and with similar tactics to those lready deployed elsewhere in Nicaragua (the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s), Iraq and Libya. Now Sibel Edmonds, the former FBI Turkic languages specialist and whistleblower, has reported that a pincer movement may be in operation involving Jordan to the south. Her website quotes local sources as saying “hundreds of soldiers who speak languages other than Arabic have been moving back and forth between the King Hussein air-bas in al-Mafraq and Jordanian villages adjacent to the Syrian border”.
But Syria is not the ultimate target. Obviously any military strike against Iran by Israel/US, widely expected later this year, would precipitate attacks on Israel by Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Syria. In that context it would be a big advantage to achieve regime change in Syria in advance or at least ensure that Syria was bogged down in civil war.
However that strategy is highly risky. The international intelligence consultancy STRATFOR has warned that Western arms smuggled into Syria in a classic Cold War covert operation are likely to fall into the hands of Sunni jihadists who are now puring into Syria. It commented on 14 February that “the collapse of the Syrian state would allow the jihadists a wide arena in which to operate, stretching from Lebanon to Iraq and putting them very close to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories, the best theatre a jihadist could ask for”.