A Syrian rebel group the Obama administration considers a terrorist organization is managing to obtain modern anti-tank weapons meant for other groups fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad, according to regional experts.
The Jihadist Jabhat al-Nusra militia is managing to secure weapons being supplied by Saudi Arabia and Qatar to rebel brigades affiliated to the Free Syrian Army, the experts say. The Obama administration considers al-Nusra a terrorist organization because of suspected links with al-Qaida.
The weapons include the Croatian-made M79 portable 90 mm anti-tank gun and M60 recoilless anti-tank weapons. Regional experts say Saudi Arabia and Qatar had been supplying such weapons to rebel units more acceptable to the West, mainly secular or nationalist-focused groups such as the Free Syrian Army (FSA) brigades fighting to oust the Assad government.
Here’s a shocking and unlikely possibility. What if Saudi Arabia and Qatar are supplying weapons, not just to the FSA, which is not secular, but largely dominated by Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood variety, but also to the Al Nusra Front?
Sure it’s impossible to believe that this could be happening… the same way it happened in Libya.
Within weeks of endorsing Qatar’s plan to send weapons there in spring 2011, the White House began receiving reports that they were going to Islamic militant groups. They were “more antidemocratic, more hard-line, closer to an extreme version of Islam” than the main rebel alliance in Libya, said a former Defense Department official.
He said that Qatar would not have gone through with the arms shipments if the United States had resisted them, but other current and former administration officials said Washington had little leverage at times over Qatari officials. “They march to their own drummer,” said a former senior State Department official.
The administration has never determined where all of the weapons, paid for by Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, went inside Libya, officials said.
And now the same baffling inexplicable thing is happening in Syria. And no one can possibly explain how or why this is taking place.
Surely the Saudis, who just got a revolving door pass to America from Obama Inc, could in no way be providing weapons to Al Qaeda. That’s just crazy talk. Next thing you’ll tell me most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis and most of the terrorists from Gitmo that we turned over to the Saudis were freed.
But of course that is just nuts. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are our allies in the War on Terror. Pay no attention to all the weapons mysteriously ending up in hands of terrorists. And certainly avoid drawing any crazy conclusions about Obama Inc’s complicity in arming terrorists.
The American support for the arms shipments from Qatar and the emirates could not be completely hidden. NATO air and sea forces around Libya had to be alerted not to interdict the cargo planes and freighters transporting the arms into Libya from Qatar and the emirates, American officials said.
“Nobody knew exactly who they were,” said the former defense official. The Qataris, the official added, are “supposedly good allies, but the Islamists they support are not in our interest.”
American officials say that the United Arab Emirates first approached the Obama administration during the early months of the Libyan uprising, asking for permission to ship American-built weapons that the United States had supplied for the emirates’ use. The administration rejected that request, but instead urged the emirates to ship weapons to Libya that could not be traced to the United States.
“The U.A.E. was asking for clearance to send U.S. weapons,” said one former official. “We told them it’s O.K. to ship other weapons.”
Like you know… Croatian weapons.
Those paragraphs come from the crazy outlet of anti-Obama conspiracy theories known as the New York Times.