CIA Arming Syrian Insurgents

by Stephen Lendman

On June 21, The New York Times headlined “CIA Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition,” saying:

Operating covertly from southern Turkey, CIA operatives are “decid(ing) which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers.”

Weapons supplied include “automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition, (and) antitank weapons….”

They’re smuggled across Turkey’s border through “a shadowy network of intermediaries….”

They’re also entering through Lebanon.

Muslim Brotherhood officials are involved. So are Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, other Gulf States, Jordan and Israel.

Obama denies what other US officials confirm.

A knowledgeable unnamed Arab intelligence operative said:

“CIA officers are there and they are trying to make new sources and recruit people” to help topple Assad.

Turkish army vehicles are used to transport weapons and munitions to border areas. From there they’re smuggled into Syria.

Turkish officials deny what confirmed evidence shows they’re doing.

The New York Times article failed to explain what’s been ongoing since violence erupted early last year.

Throughout the conflict, NATO’s been waging covert war. Washington directs everything. Israel, France and Britain are directly involved. So are Gulf States, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon’s March 14 alliance, and other Arab League countries.

In January 2012, British media confirmed that MI6 and CIA operatives were training Syrian insurgents. US, British, French, and Qatari special forces are involved.

They’re recruiting, funding, equipping, arming, training, and directing insurgents. They’re choosing targets. They’re responsible for recent massacres and terrorist bomb attacks.

Last February, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile said:

“British and Qatari special operations units are operating with rebel forces under cover in the Syrian city of Homs just 162 kilometers from Damascus, according to debkafile’s exclusive military and intelligence sources.”

They’re “tactical advisers.” They’re “manag(ing) rebel communications lines.” They’re involved in supplying “arms, ammo, fighters and logistical aid.”

They’re operating from Homs, Bab Derib, Rastan, and Bab Amro.

Syrian operations are similar to Western intervention in Libya last year.

Months after conflict erupted, BBC and other British media reported that hundreds of UK SAS, SBS, and Special Reconnaissance Regiment forces operated covertly in plain clothes. Other troops were on standby if needed.

They included Special Forces Support Group (SFSG) paratroupers drawn from the SAS (Special Air Service) and SBS (Special Boat Service). Royal Marines were also positioned to enter Libya if ordered.

Its model is now replicated in Syria. So far it’s short of NATO bombing. For how long isn’t clear. Expect it if other measures fail.

In March, headlined “SAS in Syria to guard MI6 spies on missions,” saying:

“The elite Who Dares Wins troops are ‘riding shotgun’ with MI6 agents.”

They’re on “24-hour alert.”

They’re conducting anti-Assad missions.

They’re directly involved in insurgent violence to topple him.

On June 17, Middle East analyst Peter Eyre accused Washington, Britain, France, and their major media with promoting anti-Assad terrorism, saying.

“The Talons of Obama, Clinton, Cameron, Hague and Hollande are waiting to grab Syria but in doing so will probably also take out some aspects of Lebanon and Palestine with the their ultimate goal being Iran…but their final shopping list will not be complete until they also have Yemen, Somalia and Sudan in their grasp.”

What’s now ongoing isn’t new. Britain’s sordid history reveals previous similar missions. UK forces are involved in all US imperial wars.

“We are now seing an almost out of control, undisciplined pile of thugs running amok in Syria with the arming, financing and training by our special forces, as well as those from Israel, France, Qatar, Saudi and that no so friendly ally Turkey who forms part of NATO.”

French and British forces were caught red-handed.

US death squads are actively involved. They’re training and directing “guerrilla attacks and assassinations (according to) a leaked Stratfor memo published by WikiLeaks.”

Satellite channels broadcast fake videos. Assad’s blamed for insurgent massacres and other forms of violence.

An unnamed “New Delhi magazine” reported the following:

“Syrians wanting to watch their national TV stations will see them replaced on their screens by TV programs created by the CIA.”

“Studio-shot images will show massacres that are blamed on the Syrian Government, people demonstrating, ministers and generals resigning from their posts, President Al-Assad fleeing, the rebels gathering in the big city centers, and a new government installing itself in the presidential palace.”

“This operation of disinformation, directly managed from Washington by Ben Rhodes, the US deputy national security adviser, is aimed at demoralising the Syrians in order for a coup d´etat which may well be successful in their current very effective propoganda machine….”

“Nowdays the media do not only support a war, they produce it themselves.”

“New World Order” officials control UN monitors. They’re deployed to spy, not operate independently.

Historic Analogs

In 1998, the Paris-based Le Nouvel Observateur published an interview with former Carter administration National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski.

He discussed the CIA’s intervention in Afghanistan, saying:

“….CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979.”

“But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul.”

“And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.”

At issue was giving Soviet Russia “its Vietnam war.” It “brought about (its) demoralization (and) breakup….”

Asked whether he regretted bring Taliban forces to power, he responded:

“What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire?”

He added that notions of Islamic fundamentalism threatening Western interests are “(n)onsense….There isn’t a global Islam.” Its adherents differ from one country to the next.

In September 2003, the London Guardian headlined “Macmillan backed Syria assassination plot,” saying:

“Newly discovered documents show how in 1957 Harold Macmillan and President Dwight Eisenhower approved a CIA-MI6 plan to stage fake border incidents as an excuse for an invasion by Syria’s pro-western neighbors, and then to ‘eliminate’ the most influential triumvirate in Damascus.”

Historians knew about this long ago. However, confirming documents weren’t previously available. They leave “no doubt” about plans “to assassinate the top men in Damascus.”

Part of the “preferred plan” says:

“In order to facilitate the action of liberative forces, reduce the capabilities of the Syrian regime to organise and direct its military actions, to hold losses and destruction to a minimum, and to bring about desired results in the shortest possible time, a special effort should be made to eliminate certain key individuals.”

“Their removal should be accomplished early in the course of the uprising and intervention and in the light of circumstances existing at the time.”

Washington and London approved the plan. Macmillan “was remarkably bellicose.” The scheme was so secret even “British chiefs of staff” weren’t told.

At issue then was Syrian/Soviet ties. Former President Theodore Roosevelt’s grandson, Kermit Roosevelt, was involved.

In 1953, he engineered the first CIA coup. Iran’s democratically elected Mohammad Mosaddegh was toppled. At the time, The New York Times called him “the most popular politician in the country.”

Anti-regime officers staked their careers on ousting him. Reza Shah Pahlavi replaced him. Iran remained an Anglo/American client state until he fell out of favor and was toppled in 1979.

Efforts then and now are part of a larger scheme to balkanize the region along tribal, sectarian, and religious lines. It’s also about creating an arc of crisis through Central Asia to Russian and Chinese borders.

The Macmillan/Eisenhower plan sounds similar to what’s ongoing today. It called for CIA and SIS (MI6) “to mount minor sabotage and coup de main incidents within Syria, working through contacts and individuals.”

Generating fear was planned. Syria had to be “made to appear as the sponsor of plots, sabotage and violence directed against neighboring governments.”

“CIA and SIS should use their capabilities in both the psychological and action fields to augment tension.”

At issue was destabilizing Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon. Damascus would be blamed. Funding a so-called “Free Syria Committee” was involved. Also arming “political factions with paramilitary or other actionist capabilities.”

Earlier objectives replicated today’s. Plans then and now involve replacing independent regimes with pro-Western ones.

Action didn’t follow planning because neighboring Arab states weren’t persuaded to topple Syria’s Baathist government. They’re much more amenable today.

A Final Comment

On June 21, Stratfor headlined “Are Syria’s Rebels Getting Foreign Support?” saying:

Washington, other NATO states, Gulf ones, and Israel are waging covert war on Syria and Iran.

They’re directly aiding Syrian insurgents. They’re providing arms, munitions and training.

In recent weeks, weapons supplies have “increased dramatically.”

“Supply lines through Lebanon (and Turkey) have proved crucial.”

Growing numbers of “jihadists” are involved. “(C)onflict is set to intensify.” Western intervention intends protracted fighting until imperial aims are achieved. Expect much more bloodshed to follow.

(by Stephen Lendman)

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

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