Russia warns Saudis about supplying missiles to takfiris

Developing Just Leadership

Crescent International

Rabi' al-Thani 26, 1435 2014-02-26

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

The US and its Western and Arabian allies are determined to intensify the conflict in Syria. Recent reports suggest the Saudis are planning to supply missiles to the takfiris in Syria in a bid to turn the tide of war. The net result will be more bloodshed and the suffering of Syrian people.

Washington DC,

Wednesday February 26, 2014, 08:28 EST

There have been reports from anonymous sources in the Wall Street Journal that Saudi Arabia is planning to supply Syrian rebels with anti-tank and anti-aircraft missile launchers to “turn the tide” in the three-year conflict.

The Russian government has expressed strong concerns at this report. “There is a chance that if these powerful weapons get into the hands of the terrorists who have flooded the country, they are likely to turn up far beyond the borders of Syria itself,” said a statement from the Russian foreign ministry.

The head of one of Syria’s takfiri militias, Ahmad Jarba, promised that “powerful arms will be arriving soon” to rebel units during a visit last week to rebel fighters on the ground.

An Arab diplomat and several opposition figures with knowledge of the Saudi efforts have told the Wall Street Journal that these supplies are likely to tip the battlefield scales, as the rebels will become capable of taking on the government’s air power and destroying heavy armored vehicles.

The original report is highly misleading, and demonstrates how the US media is used as a tool of political disinformation. The Wall Street Journal proceeds by quoting an unnamed senior White House official, as saying the US has long opposed arming rebels with anti-aircraft missiles for fear that they could fall into the hands of extremists who might then use them against the West or commercial airlines.

During visit of the Saudi Crown Prince Salman (February 15-17), Pakistani media reports said he had asked Islamabad for shoulder-held missiles and anti-tank weapons for Syrian rebels.

A Pakistani foreign office spokesperson, Tasneem Aslam denied that the country had agreed to supply such weapons, given Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s personal indebtedness to the Saudis (he was given asylum there during General Pervez Musharraf’s military rule), it would be difficult to turn down such a Saudi request especially made by the Crown Prince.

The WSJ states that the Saudis have held off supplying them in the past because of US opposition.

The report doesn’t mention several critical facts—namely that no delivery of advanced weaponry via Jordan can take place without US approval. In other words, the Saudis cannot unilaterally arm the rebels without US facilitation and support.

It also covers up the fact that the US, since 2011, has maintained a presence of US Special Forces, DIA, State Department, CIA, and agencies like USAID at the Ramtha Airbase in Jordan, the Jordanian border town Al-Mafraq, and nearby refugee camps.

There is speculation as to why this report would be released at this time, when the takfiri militias are in the process of regrouping and being consolidated with outside orchestration.

Firstly, it could be a way of giving the Saudis “ownership” of the issue—and disengaging the US from potential blame from the fallout. It could also be a trial balloon assessing public reactions to the takfiri regrouping. Whatever the cause, due critical vigilance of media coverage of the Syria issue is essential.


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