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Why The Entry Of US Special Forces In Syria Could Make Matters Even Worse

01/12/2015 8:35 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Free Syrian Army rebels take up positions along an embankment on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Maraat al-Numan, Syria. After months of fierce fighting for control of the vital Aleppo-Damascus highway, rebels have succeeded in pushing the Syrian army out of the center of Maraat al-Numan located on the highway between Aleppo and Hama. (AP Photo/Mustafa Karali)

Close on the heels of the Paris tragedy, when all of Europe is still reeling and Brussels remains under lockdown, and just days after the hotel siege in Mali, the US President's announcement that Special Forces would be sent to Syria "very soon" is no cause for celebration. In fact, it signals the beginning of even more dangerous developments to come.

The overt purpose of this operation is to combat ISIS but also to strengthen anti-Assad forces like the Free Syrian Army and their allies. However, it is a fact that any theatre of war is a tangled scenario where the truth is perhaps the biggest casualty. In the Middle East the scenario becomes even more complex with multiple religious, ethnic and tribal groups and their narrow but durable loyalty links. The territorial controls are constantly shifting and so is the internal alignment and definition of friends and foes.

If a US-recruited, funded, armed, trained Iraqi brigade can desert the battleground when attacked by a much smaller militia force, leaving behind Humvee trucks and armoured personnel carriers for appropriation by ISIS, then with a little osmotic pressure anything can land up in the hands of this multi-cellular organism called the "Syrian opposition".

It is time to ask the US administration the million-dollar question: What is your primary objective? Changing the Syrian regime or fighting terrorism? According to Stephen Lendman of the Centre for Research on Globalization, "The so-called Free Syrian Army is more myth than reality -- terrorists alone fighting Assad, imported from scores of countries, non-Syrians, wanting the nation's sovereignty destroyed, serving their own interests and Washington's, seeking unchallenged regional control."

The Anglo-Saxon axis is known to have a no-holds-barred policy when fighting terrorism. For example, in 2007 The Telegraph reported that, "Deep inside the heart of the "Green Zone" [in Iraq], the heavily fortified administrative compound in Baghdad, lies a cell from a small and anonymous British Army unit that goes by the deliberately meaningless name of the Joint Support Group (JSG)." The members of the JSG "are trained to turn hardened terrorists into coalition spies. Since war broke out in Iraq in 2003, they have been responsible for running dozens of Iraqi double agents."

US intelligence officers are reporting that some of the insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 92 pistols without serial numbers, indicating that the guns were intended for the use of intelligence operations or terrorist cells with government backing (possibly Mossad or the CIA).

Even the French President Francois Hollande admitted that France delivered arms to Syrian rebels few months back. His contention was, "We cannot leave the only Syrians who are preparing a democracy ... without weapons..."

Who has appointed the Western powers as global guardians of democracy and law and order? They have neither been invited by the state (be it Iraq or Libya or Syria) nor is there any UN mandate that legitimises their intervention. Under such circumstances, the supply of deadly arms to non-state actors in strife-torn developing nations amounts to state-sponsored terrorism. It is high time the French public wakes up to this reality. The dangerous power game that the Western nations have launched in the Middle East and North Africa is the primary cause of their own problems vis-à-vis terrorism or the influx of refugees. You reap what you sow - that's the elementary wisdom that has been lost in the complex web of global strategic discourse.

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