Earlier this week several intelligence websites, among which (Israeli) Debkafile confirmed that Washington had Okayed the delivery of anti-tank missiles to Syria in a last attempt to militarily overpower President Bashar Al Assad’s armed forces, topple his government and engineer the inception of a puppet regime which will pledge allegiance to its western backers as well as recognise Saudi Arabia as THE main regional super-power.
Interestingly, Washington’s decision to send the heavy cavalry corresponds with Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan’s return as Saudi Arabia Chief of Intelligence following a slight hiatus. The grand master of terror, Prince Bandar was quite literally put on political hold after a remark he made to French President Francois Hollande in the summer of 2013 prompted U.S. President Barack Obama’s ire. At the time, Prince Bandar commented that by diplomatically engaging Iran, the U.S. had proven it would no longer defend Saudi Arabia’s regional interests in the Middle East, a stance the Prince noted would have to be addressed.
Needless to say that the Prince of Terror’s comments - as many have dubbed him for his close ties with radical Salafis – were ill-received and prompted the raising of many eyebrows, both in Washington and Riyadh. Forced into political convalescence in Morocco, where official reports had him recovering from health complications, many experts predicted that Prince Bandar’s run of Syria’s war had come to an abrupt and very welcomed end … if only!
As Washington appeared poised for a change of strategy in Syria, having understood that President Bashar Al Assad was simply not a man to be forcibly pushed out of power, government officials began flaunting the idea of a “soft powers” strategy. Increasingly wary of the repercussions a protracted conflict in the Levant will have in the region, especially in view of Saudi Arabia’s aggressive promotion of radical Islam as a weapon of war, the Pentagon envisioned a different approach. As history will have it the Crimean crisis would come to put a spanner in the work, playing directly into Saudi Arabia’s hands.
As noted by Chris Bambery – political analyst – to RT on Tuesday, “The sudden shipment of anti-tank missiles to Syrian rebels from the U.S., which has so far been reluctant to supply any heavy weapons, is Washington's way of getting back at Russia by hitting the Assad government.”
Now in possession of advanced U.S. weapons – among which armour-piercing and optically-guided BGM-71 TOW missiles – Syria’s rebels have in essence been given the capacity to rain death upon Syria, notwithstanding the likelihood terror groups such as The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – ISIL – or Al Nusra – the Front of Victory – will manage to seize such technology.
The very fact that Western powers, not the least, the United Stated of America, are willing to risk changing the very face of terrorism by allowing radical Islamists to acquire such heavy weaponry, only reinforces the sheer absurdity of their war against terror narrative.
Rather than fight radical Islam, the West has empowered it, raising its profile from an obscure militia-type power to fully a pledged military force. In short, America has given al Qaeda the means to build an army capable of challenging sovereign powers across the Middle East, a move which could turn costly just so to prove of point against Russia.
Washington’s refusal to look beyond its spat with Russia, its quest for global grandeur, carries within the potential of another Great War.
Because the U.S. will never dare openly engage Russia as for all its might and bravado, Washington knows it could never take on such a military giant, its officials have instead chosen to act by proxy, having elected Syria as its target of choice.
“Once again the Americans see hitting the Assad regime as a way of getting back at Russia,” noted Bambery.
Bearing in mind that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was months ago given strict assurances that neither the U.S. nor EU would allow heavy weaponry to be delivered to rebel troops in Syria, as not to complicate an already impossible situation and risk aggravating ever-growing regional tensions, such deviance on the part of the U.S. could prompt Moscow’s wrath.
And since Russian President Vladimir Putin is not a man of half measures, Washington’s new rules of engagement might have blown up open Pandora’s Box.
While the U.S. might just have made a costly strategic faux pas by giving in to Saudi Arabia’s calls for military escalation as the only way forward, King Abdullah and his coterie are revelling in their political folly, only too happy to see their old ally back in the fold again.
Intent on establishing itself as the only potent Arab and Islamic power in the region, Saudi Arabia cannot envision a world where it does not rule unchallenged over Arabia. From untamed Syria to ambitious Turkey and mighty Iran, Saudi Arabia wants to topple all and control all, even if it means working with Israel.
If anyone was ever in doubt of Saudi Arabia’s Israeli connection, one needs only to refer to Debkafile’s latest report; it reads, “U.S. Gen. Martin Dempsey — the chairman of the Joint Chiefs — asked officials in Israel last week to help get Saudi Arabian fighter jets stationed at the kingdom’s Faisal Air Base at Tabuk near Jordan, positioned in a manner that would provide air cover as American forces moved the weapons [anti-tanks missiles] into southern Syria.
With Prince Bandar ready to resume his terror campaign and Washington gearing up for a military escalation, Syria might have just become al Qaeda’s new ground zero.
There is no telling what horrors will befall the region once terror militias will utilize U.S. weaponry to serve their own regional agendas.
Catherine Shakdam is a political risk analyst and commentator for the Middle East for an array of news organizations.
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