Monday, March 19, 2012

Russian Troops Arrive In Syria As Revolt Starts To Fall Apart

The Russians have sent anti-terrorism special forces into Syria, according to Russian news reports.

You'll recall that Syrian leader Basher Assad has consistently claimed that he's fighting a 'terrorist action' rather than a revolt.

The troops, Russian marines arrived via the tanker ship Iman, which docked in the Syrian port of Tartus, the Russian's primary base in the Mediterranean. It's not known exactly what their mission in Syria is, but it is a definite show of support for the regime. Russia has consistently blocked any sanctions or significant action against Syria, a good customer for Russian arms and other goods.

Just last week, Russian foreign minister Serge Lavrov was quoted as saying that Russia had no plans to send troops to Syria.

The rebels themselves appear in major disarray these days. As Barry Rubin details, the Islamist, Muslim Brotherhood-dominated rebel leadership the Obama Administration openly collaborated in creating in th eform of the Syrian National Council is collapsing as the entire revolt breaks up into factions:

Of the nineteen announced members of the top leadership, I explained, ten of them were Islamists, either Muslim Brotherhood or Salafist. A reliable Syrian opposition source tells me that two more members are secretly Islamist tools. This was far in excess of the proportion of those forces in the revolution. In short, the U.S. government was helping to turn Syria’s revolution over to the Islamists. If this group had succeeded, the West would be facing still another radical Islamist regime that hated the West, wanted to go to war with Israel, and would be imposing a new dictatorship on its country.

As the New York Times admits, al-Labwani, “accused Muslim Brotherhood members within the exile opposition of `monopolizing funding and military support.’” Yet there is not a word about how the Obama Administration pushed this Brotherhood-dominated leadership onto the Syrian opposition.

Most of the Kurds involved in the original talks angrily walked out of the negotiations because of their objection to Islamist leadership. The Obama Administration’s choice of Turkey to coordinate this operation made it even harder to bring in Syrian Kurds, who play an important role in the revolution, since Turkey has fought a long war against Kurdish nationalism at home.

Another issue fomenting conflict is the SNC’s bad relationship with the Free Syrian Army and the SNC’s rejection of armed struggle to overthrow the dictatorship. Anti-Islamist oppositionists say that this is because the Islamists hope to make a deal with the regime that would give them more power now and, they hope, would bring them to power in the longer run.

Due to these various antagonisms, more than a half-dozen other opposition groups have developed as rivals to the SNC.

In other words, President Obama and his advisers in Washington tried totake over what was a genuine democratic revolt and turn it over to the Islamists, which disturbed several factions so much that they decided to fragment off on their own...which means Assad now has a much better chance of surviving thanks to none other than the current occupant of the White House.

No wonder the Russians felt safe enough to double down to make sure Assad stays in power.


B.Poster said...

I don't think its really a matter of the Russians feeling "safe" enough to double down. They are not rally scared of anyone nor do they have a reason to be. Its likely one of two possibilites. 1.)The rebellion is going much better than is generally reported and their ally is actually being seriously threatened with being overthrown and Russian wishing to protect its interest there has committed these troops to ensure Assad stays in power. 2.)The Russians want a show of force in case someone does try to intervene. Essentially they are sending a message to others to STAY OUT. Perhaps behind the scenes America and its BATO "allies" were devising something to simillar to Libya for Syria and the Russians want to make sure that does not happen in Syria.

Now that Russia has chosen to commit troops, any type of intervention by America or anyone else is impossible. I think possibilty one is the most likely reason for the troop committment by Russia. Option two is not likely as America and NATO do not have the military assets for the type of operation that is being carried out in Libya. Essentially "feeling safe" is not a consideration.

louielouie said...

i'm reading, re-reading your essay, and reading the link you provide.
and i'm sitting here wondering when that twit anon is going to come here and explain why president bush is doing this.
why is bush getting the US involved in this?
why is bush, as the rubin article states, collaborating with anti-american groups?
when oh when is the twit anon going to come here and explain these things to us.