More Heavy Weaponry for Syrian Rebels?

rebPresident Obama is considering ramping up military support to the Syrian rebels, who are increasingly dominated by jihadists. American anti-tank missiles have already appeared in videos in the hands of rebel forces. According to an April 21st report in Time Magazine, the White House is now considering sending the rebels shoulder-fired surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles known as manpads. In the wrong hands, such missiles could be used to take out commercial aircraft.

Senator John McCain is pushing the Obama administration to take that risk. To combat the Assad regime’s use of barrel bombs dropped on civilian populations from government helicopters, McCain said in a March interview with Time Magazine that he was “willing to take the risk of a manpad, the risk of them falling into the wrong hands.”

McCain’s willingness to take the risk of anti-aircraft missiles getting into the wrong hands is wrong-headed for several reasons.  The most obvious reason is the blowback the United States and its allies will suffer when jihadists fighting in Syria take the weapons they have looted from the so-called “moderate” rebels and use them against us. Nearly half of the rebel fighters are “jihadists or hardline Islamists,” according to a summary by The Telegraph of a report the IHS Jane’s defense consultancy group issued last year. And they are the best trained and equipped forces amongst the Syrian opposition.

Al Qaeda-linked groups have set up training camps in Syria, which they are using to prepare foreign jihadists for their return from Syria to spread their attacks more widely.  This includes jihadists from Western countries such as the Rayat Al-Tawheed group, the British jihadist faction in Syria, that has posted an image of the White House with the caption “Wait a while there will come to you mounts carrying lions in shining armour battalions followed by battalions.” Put weapons capable of shooting down commercial aircraft in the hands of these jihadists and we won’t have to wait awhile before reaping the consequences.

Another reason not to pour such weapons into the Syrian conflict at this stage is that we are way too late to make any material difference in the eventual outcome. Assad is winning the war slowly but surely, with help from Iran, Hezbollah and Russia. The anti-aircraft missiles may have a marginal impact in slowing Assad’s offense down further in some locations. However, they will not be able to completely stop the barrel bombs and other lethal weapons Assad is using with such success against the opposition.

As the intelligence and security news service DEBKAfile explained:

“The newly-armed rebels have gained not much more than the capacity to hold on to their present lines for a while longer. But ultimately, they cannot prevent the combined weight of the Syria army, Hizballah and Iraqi Shiite Iraqis, who continue to stream into Syria, breaking through those lines.”

Vladimir Putin will also be only too happy to further arm the Assad regime and counter anything the U.S. might be sending, if for no other reason than to embarrass Obama.

Senator McCain’s goal of using the anti-aircraft missiles to stop the Assad regime’s barrel bombing is unachievable, unless we were to get sucked into establishing a complete no-fly zone over the country and staying militarily involved for the long haul. However, there is no appetite among most Americans to get involved in yet another protracted war in the Muslim world, nor should there be given the dismal results we have seen in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan under Obama’s leadership. Even if Assad and his henchmen were to be removed, no secular democracy will follow in their wake. Anarchy along the lines we are seeing in Libya, with power vacuums filled by jihadists bent on creating an Islamic caliphate in Syria, will follow. More Christians and other “infidels” will be persecuted and murdered. Assad’s removal will not end the suffering of the Syrian people. The barrel bombs that Senator McCain wants to stop, even at the risk of seeing our own lethal weapons end up in the “wrong hands,” will be replaced with beheadings and other atrocities done with those very same “wrong hands.”

President Obama’s apparent openness to providing more advanced weaponry to the Syrian rebels at this stage of the conflict could well be the result of his meeting with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah last month, where Saudi concerns about U.S. resolve in dealing with the Assad regime and Iran’s nuclear threat were discussed. In bowing to the wishes of the Saudi government for more direct U.S. military aid to the Syrian rebels, Obama may have gotten some breathing room from the Saudi leaders as he tries in vain to negotiate a comprehensive, verifiable nuclear deal with Iran. If so, Obama is putting the interests of the United States behind those of a fanatical Sunni Muslim regime that has spawned global jihad and sees Syria as another beachhead to advance that cause.

President Obama would do well to focus on far more strategically important concerns to the United States, such as stopping the world’s biggest sponsor of terror, Iran, from acquiring nuclear weapons by whatever means are necessary, and dealing effectively with a resurgent Russia.

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  • Bamaguje

    “willing to take the risk of a manpad (anti-aircraft missiles), the risk of them falling into the wrong hands” – John McCain.

    McCain is a conceited fool. By what power does he arrogate himself the right to put innocent airline passengers at risk, just to aid his Jihadist buddies.

    • beeinparis

      But the Saudis don’t want to be seen doing it. They’d rather America do their dirty work.

      • Bamaguje

        Actually, the Saudis want U.S. military to take down Assad, since their Sunni Jihadis can’t get the job done. They and other Gulf Arabs even offered to bank roll the assault.
        Unfortunately for them, Americans revolted against such intervention, thereby compelling Obama to stand down after his infamous ‘red line’ bluster.

        • aemoreira81

          There is an economic reason for it though—Europe wants Saudi Arabia’s cheap natural gas. Assad is the only block to a pipeline that would run to Turkey. Where Russia sees a threat is towards its monopoly on Europe’s natural gas supplies; Russia (through Gazprom, which is controlled by the Russian government) supplies 75 percent of Europe’s natural gas. Saudi Arabia could reduce the Russian dependence to 50 percent…and then Poland and the UK could really do a further number.

          • Drakken

            The Russians have already warned the Saudi’s once not to interfere, they won’t tell them twice. As for a Saudi pipeline to Europe through Syria? The Russians, one way or another will never allow it, I will guarantee you that the Russians will make that pipeline have an accident a day.

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          • Shel_Zahav

            It will go through Israel.

        • kikorikid

          Sounds plausible.

    • Russell Lissuzzo

      Excellent end-point! Mind our own business!

  • Larry Larkin

    Drop lots and lots of defective rifles and ammuntion, of the “blow up in face” type defects, across the entire place, and then sit back and have a few beers and bacon sandwiches.

    • Drakken

      They already do that, and so do we. Ever see what an AK cartridge full of C-4 can do? Or what a sabotaged mortar round does when dropped down the tube?

  • Gee

    Arming terrorists regardless of which side they are on is stupid. The terrorists in Syria hate the West. All of them – on the government side and the anti-government side

    • Wierd

      Secular Baathist Syria never hated the U.S until its Shariah Law AlCIAda mercernries came in. Now they hate us pretty well, it takes two sides for a civil war and we sure as heck backing one side.

      Don’t confuse a civil war with an uprising.

      • Shel_Zahav

        Baathists hated America always.

  • MidSouthMitch

    McCain should be declared legally brain-dead! What a git!
    Will the free people of Arizona PLEASE rise up and remove him from office?!?

    Is a matter of WHEN, not IF high tech US weaponry will find its way into jihadist hands! Didn’t we learn from arming the Mujahideen in Afghanistan and subsequently creating Osama bin Laden. Sure- They decimated the Soviet air superiority…But at what cost to Americas on 9/11/2001?!?

  • Habbgun

    McCain made the stimulus the centerpiece of his campaign and has endorsed Obama’s policies. Losing to Obama is not so hard to understand now that we realize that Obama ran against an old, tired and lazy copy of Obama.

    • JackSpratt

      The dimwit is also best friends with John F’n sKerry.

  • aemoreira81

    This situation in Syria would be much simpler if not for the fact that Assad’s forces are receiving Russian technical support and weaponry. Can the USA really let Syria fall into Russian hands? This is a situation where neutrality means Russia wins and NATO loses. (Think in terms of natural gas…and then realize that Assad is a block to cheaper natural gas than what Gazprom provides.)

    • Bamaguje

      “Can the USA really let Syria fall into Russian hands?” – aemorea81.

      Syria has long being in ‘Russian hands.’ Russia even has a naval base there. It’s far more preferable for Syria to be in Russia’s hands than for the country to be in the hands of Al-Qaeda type Jihadis.

      • aemoreira81

        I cannot agree…Syria in Russian hands essentially weakens NATO as Gazprom becomes an additional weapon in Putin’s arsenal.

        • kikorikid

          Syria cannot/will not close down Tartus
          to the Russians.

        • Bamaguje

          America aided Al-Qaeda linked Jihadists in Libya to dethrone Gaddafi. How did that work out for U.S. when her ambassador and 3 other Americans were killed in Benghazi, by the same Insurgents America helped into power.

          Libya has known no peace since that ill-advised NATO intervention, as the north African country is without meaningful central government, but is now plagued by armed militias running amok and who refuse to disarm.

          America similarly aided Afghan Jihadis against the Soviet Union, thereby helping create Al-Qaeda which later went on to perpetrate 9/11.

          It’s far more preferable to deal with rational adversaries like Russia/USSR/Assad, than to deal with murderous Jihadist psychopaths like the Al-Qaeda linked Syrian rebels.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    President Obama is considering ramping up military support to the Syrian rebels, who are increasingly dominated by jihadists.

    What you mean increasingly? Every fricking Muslim in the world is a jihadists in one form or another. Otherwise, they are blasphemous apostates that must be executed. As waging jihad in the cause of Allah to ultimately make Islam supreme is a fundamental holy obligation incumbent upon all Muslims in one form or another.

    This absurdity in your first sentence and you expect people to continue reading your brain damage? I don’t believe.

    • Joseph Klein

      “Every fricking Muslim in the world is a jihadists in one form or another” is your tiresome mantra. It’s really time that you advanced to the next level of thinking and actually deal with the theme of the articles that you comment upon.
      We all know that there are many more jihadists than the subset of violent jihadists and that stealth jihad is very dangerous in its own right. We also all know that the Koran commands the waging of jihad in the cause of Allah to ultimately make Islam supreme. But this article is not intended to be a primer on Islam. It focuses on the dangerous plans of the Obama administration to arm those it foolishly believes are ‘reliable moderates’ with anti-tank and possibly anti-aircraft missiles, which we all know will end up in the jihadists’ hands – an operation Fast and Furious on steroids, if you will. That is the immediate threat I am warning about in this particular article. Having been very close to Ground Zero on 9/11, I do not want to see a repeat of that tragedy enabled by the Obama administration’s dangerously misguided policies.
      My book Lethal Engagement and other articles of mine have discussed stealth jihad and my concern that the Obama administration is opening the door to infiltration of our institutions by stealth jihadists in much the same way that Europe has already been infiltrated. This article, however, is not about that. It is about the imminent threat of advanced weaponry passing from the Obama administration directly, or indirectly with the help of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, into the jihadists for whom violence against the ‘infidels’ is the tactic of choice.
      The reference to “increasing” dominance of the Syrian rebels by jihadists is based on empirical data and analyses by such sources as IHS Jane’s report which says that nearly half of the rebel forces are made up of “jihadists and hardline Islamists.” You may quibble over the terminology, but the point is that what started out as a homegrown demonstration against the Assad regime has morphed into a jihadist-dominated religious war into which jihadists from countries outside of Syria are pouring in and obtaining training and weapons for conducting jihad back in their home countries.
      Try to see the forest for the trees and move beyond the bombast and ad hominem attacks.

      • Drakken

        Just wait until those western jihadist, the ones that survive that is, and go back to their western countries, they will produce nothing but chaos, panic and disorder. The western govts that we have now will be at a loss as how to fight them, it will only make a brutal backlash happen that much quicker, in a Machiavellian way, it will make the average European say enough is enough that much quicker, and then can get on with the inevitable purge that will take place.

      • ObamaYoMoma

        You began your article by using the same old, tired, and false paradigm set forth by GWB: that is with the exception of only a tiny minority of radical Muslims, the vast overwhelming majority of Muslims in the world are peaceful and moderate people just like us. A lie perpetrated against the American people just as outlandish as Obama’s Obamacare lies. When I read that first sentence it made me angry and I immediately stopped reading. Anyway, what I wrote was pretty mean and I wish I wouldn’t have posted it. Thus, please accept my humble apologies.

        • Shel_Zahav

          Hundreds of millions are jihadis.

      • Shel_Zahav

        You are right. Only hundreds of millions of Muslims are terrorists or supporters of terrorism.

    • Softly Bob

      You’re right ObamaYoMoma, but you do go over the top with pressing your point sometimes, even insulting people who would otherwise agree with you. Save your insults for the Leftist trolls on here not for people who are as almost anti-Muslim as yourself.
      I agree with most of what you write, but some people just don’t realize as much as you do just how dangerous Islam really is.

  • Julian

    How is fuelling this war any benefit to the millions of people in Syria who just want their ordinary lives back? But of course our leaders care nothing about killing and humanity and seem engaged in a crazed private game where ordinary people have no say. The rules of the game are hidden – other than we can’t play, and it’s all to do with money, power and gigantic personal egos.

    • aemoreira81

      If ordinary Syrians want their ordinary lives back, Assad has to tell Vladimir Putin to get lost. He is why this situation is still ongoing. There would be no reason for the USA to arm the Muslim Brotherhood if not for Russia’s looming on the other side. If Putin is out of the picture, a case for treason becomes crystal-clear if Obama still supports the Muslim Brotherhood.

    • Shel_Zahav

      And Islam.

  • William James Ward

    What happens? Obama dances on the desk in the Oval Office.


    Oh, great!! why don’t we send all our military equipment to Russia? This is beyond insanity.

  • CowboyUp

    Heavy weapons for al qaeda in Syria, moral support for Ukraine.

    • T800

      “once is accidental,twice is coincidence,three times is enemy action.”
      It’s all part of his efforts to weaken the US economically,politically,and militarily.
      1.He’s blocked domestic energy production,he’s hindered our economy terribly.
      2.He’s insulted our allies and aided our enemies,like the Muslim Brotherhood.
      3.He’s weakened our military,both through the weak economy and by shutting down needed programs such as missile defense,F-22 program,signing New START,and so on.

      Comrade Obama IS the muslim Manchurian Candidate.

      There’s a reason why,post-college,Comrade Hussein traveled to Pakistan,of all places. it’s not because he was a Christian. There’s a reason why Comrade Hussein was aided in getting into college by Saudi money and influence.

  • Wierd

    “Iran the biggest sponser of terror in the world” NO thats our sunni allies Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

    Shias don’t blow themselves up in Europe (The Greece incident was not any real proof)
    Shias don’t kill people in America or Europe or Asia….

    Isreal has violated Hezbollah airspace 20 times in 2006 in 1 month before Hezbollah launched the missiles creating the Isreali-Lebanon 2006 war. Guess what Isreal STILL violates their airspace. In 1986 Isreal launched a war in Lebanon to kill of the PLO, the Isrealis seeked to annex much of South Lebanon and the Shias amassed and forced them back to Isreal. Iranian militants in 1979 were mad U.S installed a dictatorship (1953 overthrow of their democratic regime) and wanted the U.S OUT OF IRAN.

    If the above paragraph qualifies as “terror” then by all means the Shias, Hezbollah and Iran are clearly ace-terrorists.

  • T800

    Even worse,unused Stingers get sold to Russia and China,who then develop countermeasures,or use the technology to improve their own MANPADS.

    Then when OUR forces try to use them in combat,our handheld SAMs are ineffective.

    If we must,supply them with Russian Iglas,Strelas or old Redeye SAMs.
    Not -our- best MANPADS.

    • Drakken

      You do not give anti-aircraft missiles to muslims period, I can’t wait until one of these jihadist shoot down a civilian aircraft and the chaos that will cause.

      • Softly Bob

        If they stuck to the all the ‘science’ that is supposedly in the Q’uran, they’d still be fighting us with spears.
        Not one Muslim has invented any modern weapon. Yet, they fight us with AK-47s, jet aircraft and possibly even nuclear weapons soon.
        If we stopped allowing these luddites to come to Western universities to learn physics, chemistry and engineering and stopped giving them weapons, we could kick these scumbags off the face of the Earth. They were nothing but goat-herders and rapists until we started teaching them how to fight us.

  • Carey J

    Emperor Caligula appointed his favorite horse to the Roman Senate. Senator McCain is conclusive proof that the people of Arizona can’t afford an entire horse.

  • Shel_Zahav

    McCain is a madman.