As Obama rushes to dive into a second war, the outcome of his first disastrous war has already badly destabilized the region. And is feeding weapons into his second war.
Obama’s attack on Gaddafi spread Libyan weapons even farther afield and with more devastating consequences than Gaddafi was ever able to do on his own.
Evidence gathered in Syria, along with flight-control data and interviews with militia members, smugglers, rebels, analysts and officials in several countries, offers a profile of a complex and active multinational effort, financed largely by Qatar, to transport arms from Libya to Syria’s opposition fighters. Libya’s own former fighters, who sympathize with Syria’s rebels, have been eager collaborators…
Extremist fighters, some of them aligned with Al Qaeda, have the money to buy the newly arrived stock, and many rebels are willing to sell.
And why do the rebels have so much money? Because they have some really wealthy sugar daddies. Or oil daddies.
… Those weapons, which slipped from state custody as Colonel Qaddafi’s people rose against him in 2011, are sent on ships or Qatar Emiri Air Force flights to a network of intelligence agencies and Syrian opposition leaders in Turkey…
Qatari C-17 cargo aircraft have made at least three stops in Libya this year — including flights from Mitiga airport in Tripoli on Jan. 15 and Feb. 1, and another that departed Benghazi on April 16, according to flight data provided by an aviation official in the region. The planes returned to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. The cargo was then flown to Ankara, Turkey, along with other weapons and equipment that the Qataris had been gathering for the rebels, officials and rebels said.
And Qatar has been playing this game for a while. One front is Al Jazeera. The other is Al Kaboom.
One former senior Obama administration familiar with the transfers said the Qatari government built relationships with Libyan militias in 2011, when, according to the report of a United Nations Panel of Experts, it shipped in weapons to rebel forces there in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973.
As a result, the Qataris can draw on their influence with Libya’s militias to support their current beneficiaries in Syria. “It’s not that complicated,” the former official said. “We’re watching it. The Libyans have an amazing amount of stuff.”
But don’t worry. Obama Inc’s crack security establishment is on it. And by on it, I mean in on it.
The movements from Libya complement the airlift that has variously used Saudi, Jordanian and Qatari military cargo planes to funnel military equipment and weapons, including from Croatia, to the outgunned rebels. On Friday, Syrian opposition officials said the rebels had received a new shipment of anti-tank weapons and other arms, although they give varying accounts of the sources of the recently received arms. The Central Intelligence Agency has already played at least a supporting role, the officials say.
But what could possibly go wrong?
Last week the Obama administration announced that it had evidence that Mr. Assad’s military had used sarin nerve agent in multiple attacks, and that the United States would begin providing military aid to the rebels, including shipments of small arms.
In doing so, the United States could soon be openly feeding the same distribution network, just as it has received weapons from other sources.