Missiles for the Jihad

DAMASCUS/BERLIN (Own report) – Berlins demands for a renewed ceasefire are being accompanied by reports of the possible initiation of a program to supply insurgents in Aleppo with man portable anti-aircraft missiles. The Syrian government and Moscow must immediately return to a ceasefire, admonished German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The combat in Aleppo is intolerable. Even though the combat is becoming increasingly gruesome, the ceasefire had been doomed to fail from the beginning, because important insurgent militias – partisans of the West – rejected it and continued their combat. They even refused to accept a key element of the ceasefire, rejecting the demand that they halt their collusion with al Qaeda and its Syrian affiliate, the Jabhat al Nusra / Jabhat Fatah al Sham. That demand was considered particularly important because, as experts have been warning for months, al Qaeda is establishing a jihadi emirate in northern Syria. Confronted with the eventuality that the Syrian army may recapture Aleppo, Washington is now considering supplying man portable air defense systems, or “MANPADS,” to insurgents allied with al Nusra – similar to the ones the US had previously provided the mujahidin fighting the Soviet military in Afghanistan. The German government remains silent because its own preferences will benefit – even though the missiles could wind up in the hands of al Qaeda.

A Jihadi Emirate

No Second “Islamic State”?

In Alliance with Al Nusra

However, the plan to use the ceasefire to isolate al Nusra / Fatah al Sham among the insurgent militias proved a dismal failure. Above all, two militias – Ahrar al Sham, one of the strongest militias in Syria, also with a Salafist jihadi orientation, as well as the Jund al Aqsa, had adamantly rejected the ceasefire from the outset. According to the Carter Center (USA), Ahrar al Sham, in alliance with Fatah al Sham and other militias, launched an offensive in the countryside of Quneitra, in Southwestern Syria, after the ceasefire was officially declared. September 13, Jaish al-Islam commenced a new offensive against pro-government forces in the vicinity of Damascus.[5] Russian sources reported numerous other insurgent breaches of the ceasefire, while this information had been withheld by most western media outlets. Otherwise, Ahrar al Sham, Jaish al Islam as well as 19 other militias issued a statement September 12 – the day the ceasefire began – in which they rejected attempts to exclude the al Qaeda subsidiary Fatah al Sham. A spokesperson for the West’s favored Free Syrian Army (FSA) proclaimed that the FSA would also not break its ties with Fatah al Sham saying that “Jabhat Fatah al-Sham has always fought alongside the FSA.”[6]

No-Fly Zone

Like Afghanistan

Berlin’s ostensible “peace offensive” comes at a time when, various reports are exposing – independently from one another – that Washington is considering supplying the insurgents with man portable air defense systems (“MANPADS”) – or has already begun to do so. As was made known from US government circles as well as from insurgent militia contact persons, the “MANPADS” are supposed to be delivered to the militias via Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The Saudi government is convinced that the Russian military can be forced to retreat, as the Soviet troops had done in the 1980s in Afghanistan, say US government representatives. At the time, the “stinger” missiles had permitted the mujahidin the capability of shooting down Red Army helicopters, inflicting massive losses, which ultimately led to a Soviet troop withdrawal from the country. The fate of Afghanistan thereafter is well known. It was reported that Washington has enticed the insurgents with prospects of “MANPADS,” merely for shooting down Syrian helicopters, but not those of the Russians.[10] No one should believe that the insurgents will abide by this. Experts also warn that it is not only to be expected that if “MANPADS” are provided to Syrian insurgents, Iran, for example, could deliver “MANPADS” to the Houthi insurgents, its allies in Yemen, fighting Saudi troops. Above all, the Syrian insurgents could also use those “MANPADS,” they are due to be furnished, near airports, to shoot down civilian airliners.[11] It becomes that much more volatile, since from all experience, it can be expected that a large amount of the “MANPADS” will wind up in the hands of al Qaeda’s Fatah al Sham. Experts estimate that about half of the weapons that have been delivered to insurgent militias in Syria, have ended in the hands of jihadis. The same threatens to happen again.

Full article: Missiles for the Jihad (German Foreign Policy)

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