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COLUMNISTS

Libyan Scenario for Syria

Igor IGNATCHENKO | 26.11.2012 | 00:00
 

This September the British Times published an article saying the largest shipload of arms destined for Free Syrian Army came to Turkey from Libya. It stated there were 400 tons of weapons, including an unspecified number of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, grenade launchers and other arms aboard a Libyan ship the Intisaar, docked at the Turkish port of Iskenderun. The ship's captain was Omar Mousaeeb, a Libyan from Benghazi. 

It is far from being the only arms shipment sent to anti-government Syrian gangs in recent months. Back in April this year the Libyan authorities intercepted a cache of weapons aboard the Luftfallah II cargo vessel that supposedly were intended to supply opposition forces in Syria. The shipment included portable anti-tank grenade launchers, mortars, large caliber machine guns, automatic rifles and shoulder-fired air defense systems. According to the Sunday Times, in the period since April till August at least seven arms shipments, including portable air defense missiles, were unloaded from vessels near Lebanon. The ships never entered the port of Tripoli but were anchored in neutral waters 30 km from the Lebanese coast. The boats unloaded the weapons when the night darkness descended. 

According to Franklin Lamb, Foreign Policy Journal, at least 24 states are involved in supplying weapons to the insurgents. Two thirds of them are NATO members…. UN's Syria envoy Lakhdar Brahimi suggested that the United States may be directly or indirectly supplying man-portable air-defense systems to rebels in Syria. As to the BBC news, the Syrian militants have already received two dozen of US-produced shoulder-fired air defense systems transported across the territory of Turkey. 

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged $40 million to secure and destroy stockpiles of weapons in Libya during her visit to Tripoli in November 2011. As to Mr. Lamb, the Obama administration was fully aware the arms shiploads went to Syria, the fact confirmed by US Congress documents. At the House Oversight Committee hearings held on October 10, Democratic Congressman from Ohio Dennis John Kucinich asked witnesses how many shoulder-fired aid defense systems were stolen from military depots in Libya. Eric Nordstrom, Regional Security Officer at the U.S. Department of State, said in response the figure vacillated from 10 to 20 thousand. 

As it has become known recently, not long before his death, US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens had met with Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin in Benghazi to discuss possible arms shipments from Libya to Syria. In March 2011 Stevens was told to establish contacts with the Libyan «rebels» close to Al-Qaeda, who transferred arms to Syria. As to Clare Lopez, the author of books devoted to intelligence issues, Stevens was told to assist in coordinating US assistance to insurgents led by their top military commander Abdelhakim Belhaj, emir of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, an affiliate of Al-Qaeda. Vicky Nissen, a journalist, thinks Stevens received a permission from US State Department and Obama’s administration to assist the groups closely affiliated with Al-Qaeda. Before that the Daily Telegraph had reported Belhaj, an important contact of Ambassador Stevens, «met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey» He offered them arms, money and assistance from instructors to fight Assad. 

The clouds keep on gathering over Syria. French Ambassador to the country Eric Chevallier openly said back in September that France was cooperating with the «opposition» forces there. France’s Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told RMS radio that France assisted the Free Syrian Army. At the beginning of November French President Francois Hollande promised to begin large-scale arms deliveries to Syrian «opposition» in case it united. According to Die Welt French shoulder-fired air systems Mistral, that joined the French Army’s inventory in 1988, got into Syrian militants hands. Not long ago the French parachuted weapons to Libyan militants in violation of the UN Security Council resolution N 1970, imposing embargo on arms supplies to Libya. It’s logical to think Paris is acting the same way now. 

Following French example, Great Britain is on the way to recognize Syrian «rebels» as a «lawful government» and unilaterally lift embargo of arms deliveries to Syrian «opposition» to topple the Bashar Assad’s government. In other words, the British and French intend to repeat the Libyan scenario. The Sunday Times reported the UK intelligence uses its Cyprus facility to survey the situation in Syria and then shares the information with Turkey and the United States. In its turn, Turkey shares it with Syrian militants. As a result the «terrorist international» strikes hard the Syrian government forces. 

In November the Daily Star published an article that says the Royal Air Force was set for «no-fly» zone in Syria the way it was done in Libya. It says British Special Forces are helping to train «rebel» assassination squads to target President Assad and his warlords. Troops from the SAS, SBS and Paras from the Special Reconnaisance Regiment are in Syria to train militants and instruct them on handling explosives. According to the first phase of Cameron-Obama plan, UK, US and French air forces will patrol the «no-fly» zone. 

What will the repetition of US-NATO Libyan scenario in Syria lead to? In its time the Libyan crisis spilled over to Mali to make a «black hole» the way it was done in Libya. Al-Qaeda strengthened its position in the Maghreb countries. The disappearance of «Gaddafi weapons» from storage facilities flooded the Middle East with arms getting into the hands of sundry terrorists. 

Now the history repeats itself. Obama appears to write out an order for a political leader assassination, and the French Socialists that came to power continue their predator style foreign policy of Élysée Palace. Francois Hollande shies away from the question where the hordes of hired terrorists will move after Syria’s fall. France may be the next target of «jihadists». That is the country where Arab population is gradually squeezing out the «native French», where the large port city of Marseille lives in the conditions of apartheid since a long time ago being divided into European and Muslim parts.

 
Tags: Libya Middle East Syria
 

 
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Igor IGNATCHENKO


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