Map of countries surrounding Syria (red) with military involvement.
- Green: Countries that have given support to the rebels.
- Blue: Countries that support the Syrian government
- Yellow: Countries that have groups that support the rebels and other groups that support the Syrian government.
- Sky Blue: Countries that have groups that support the Syrian Government.
This is pretty messy with factions in Iraq on both sides of the issue.
Who Gains From Using Chemical Weapons?
Assad had the most to lose by using chemical weapons. Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar have the most to gain, especially if chemical use was attributed to Syria (not the rebels).
- Rebels Admit Responsibility for Chemical Weapons Attack
- Russia suggests Syria ‘chemical attack’ carried out by rebels, provocation not ruled out
- Syrian Rebels Caught on Tape Discussing Chemical Weapons Attack
- Russia says Syrian rebels used chemical arms near Aleppo
- US-Trained Rebels Moved Towards Damascus Days Before ‘Chemical Attack’
Kerry never answered the question “By Whom?”
Who Are The Rebels?
Just who are the rebels seeking to overthrow Assad?
There have been a number of foreign fighters that have joined the Syrian civil war in opposition to Assad. While some are jihadists, others, such as Mahdi al-Harati, have joined to help the Syrian revolution. Some fighters have come from as far away as Chechnya and Tajikistan. Another group, the Al-Nusra Front, is headed by Abu Muhammad al-Julani The group includes some of the rebellion’s most battle-hardened and effective fighters. However, U.S. has formally designated the Al Nusra Front as a foreign terrorist organization. “Extremist groups like Jabhat al-Nusra are a problem, an obstacle to finding the political solution that Syria’s going to need,” said the American ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford.
Al-Qaeda and affiliates are anti-Assad. American officials believe that Al-Qaeda in Iraq has conducted bomb attacks against government forces, and al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri condemned Assad. Several groups, such as the Abdullah Azzam Shaheed Brigade, al-Nusra Front and Fatah al-Islam have stated that they conducted operations in Syria. Jihadist leaders and intelligence sources said foreign fighters had begun to enter Syria only in February 2012. In May 2012, Syria’s U.N. envoy Bashar Ja’afari declared that dozens of foreign fighters from Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Britain, France and elsewhere had been captured or killed, and urged Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to stop “their sponsorship of the armed rebellion”. In June, it was reported that hundreds of foreign fighters, many linked to al-Qaeda, had gone to Syria to fight against Assad. In July, Iraq’s foreign minister again warned that members of al-Qaeda in Iraq were seeking refuge in Syria and moving there to fight. When asked if the United States would arm the opposition, Hillary Clinton expressed fears that such weapons could fall into the hands of al-Qaeda or Hamas. In October 2012, the United States expressed concern and confirmed that most of the weapons fall into the hands of radical Islamist rebels.
McCain Says “Arm the Rebels”
McCain, opposing the resolution in its current form, will seek changes to include provisions for arming Syrian rebels and assurances that military strikes would be able to deter further Syrian use of chemical weapons, according to an aide who asked not to be named because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.
Military Aid to Al Qaeda, Al Nusra
McCain wants to arm the rebels, but if we arm the rebels, we arm Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, and other foreign terrorist organizations. It’s as simple as that.
Warmongers like McCain do not care about such things. They just want war.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock