In 17 months of civil conflict more than 20,000 people have died in Syria, most at the hands of President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal military regime. Now, British Foreign Secretary William Hague has announced that the UK Government will provide the opposition there with £5million in “non-lethal practical assistance” including medical supplies, water purification kits, electricity generators and communications equipment. He says it is “the right thing to do”.
Few would complain about efforts to get humanitarian aid to injured civilians, but as Mr Hague makes clear, much of the equipment – including satellite and radar technology – is destined for rebel forces, chief among them the Free Syrian Army.
The FSA already receives cash and weapons from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. This in itself is cause for concern, but more worrying are recent reports of the FSA being infiltrated by jihadists, including veteran al-Quaeda fighters from Iraq and some British Islamists.
This from Tony Cartalucci:
Both British and American journalists have clearly identified and documented the presence of foreign fighters with militant extremist ties pouring over the Turkish-Syrian border, most recently in an attempt to overrun the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. CNN, whose Ivan Watson accompanied FSA terrorists over the Turkish-Syrian border and into Aleppo revealed that indeed foreign fighters were amongst the militants…:
On Wednesday, CNN’s crew met a Libyan fighter who had crossed into Syria from Turkey with four other Libyans. The fighter wore full camouflage and was carrying a Kalashnikov rifle. He said more Libyan fighters were on the way.
The foreign fighters, some of them are clearly drawn because they see this as… a jihad. So this is a magnet for jihadists who see this as a fight for Sunni Muslims.
… recently, the Council on Foreign Relations, a premier Fortune 500-funded US think-tank, wrote in their article, “Al-Qaeda’s Specter in Syria,” that:
“The Syrian rebels would be immeasurably weaker today without al-Qaeda in their ranks… The influx of jihadis brings discipline, religious fervor, battle experience from Iraq, funding from Sunni sympathizers in the Gulf, and most importantly, deadly results.”
Those who recall the preludes to British entanglements in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya will recognise the pattern; once again our political leaders are blundering into a complex tribal conflict they little understand, backing forces controlled or infiltrated by al-Qaeda and other terror organisations, and giving insufficient thought to the strategic value or long-term implications for Britain.
Already some senior Conservatives are urging the Government to provide direct military support to the insurgents. How long will it be before British troops are embroiled in yet another unwinnable Middle Eastern shambles?
In: Other Middle East
Tags: Is, Hague, Dragging, Britain, Into, Syrian, War
Location: London, England, United Kingdom (UK/GB) (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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