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‘Fueling Syrian war is last roll of dice for US & it's not working’

Published time: June 27, 2014 09:41
A militant of the jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) waving the Islamic Jihad flag as vehicles drive on a newly cut road through the Syrian-Iraqi border (AFP Photo / Albakara News)

The US is providing most of the finance to keep the Syrian war going and arming rebels through Turkey, Kurds and Gulf Arabs, war correspondent and columnist Eric Margolis told RT.

RT:The Syrian conflict has ground on for more than three years now. Why is the US looking to do this now? What's the US hoping to achieve by throwing this amount of money into a war zone?

Eric Margolis: First of all because it has lost the initiative in the war in Syria. The anti-US forces there clearly have an upper hand now. Secondly, President Obama, who is a cautious and thoughtful president, is under intense pressure at home in the US by Republicans and also by some democrats to do something. He does not want to do something particularly, but people in the US, they are clambering, they are accusing Obama of being a do-nothing president. Republicans are beating the war drums calling [for] him to invade. Even former Vice-President Dick Cheney was in the leading newspaper the Wall Street Journal blasting Obama and accusing him for being a defeatist and a loser.

So that is why Obama decided to send 300 special forces to Iraq, which seems pretty ineffective, and now he is saying that he is going to arm the Syrian rebels. The US has been arming the Syrian rebels for the last few years. Obviously this means much higher-grade, more powerful weapons.

RT: Can Washington be sure the money, if it's approved, won't fall into the hands of more extreme groups?

EM: It’s hard to know what to call them these days because there are jihadists on both sides, let us say he is trying to boost the strength of the US-backed jihadists in Syria by providing them with powerful anti-aircraft and antitank weapons which they need, hoping that they won’t fall into hands of anti-US jihadists. The way they are going to do this is apparently to conduct interviews to find out if these jihadists are moderates or not moderates.

I cannot think how the government is going to be able to think to distinguish these people. The US government in its wisdom has great trouble figuring out these countries, and certainly Syria and Iraq are at the top of the list. “Will the real moderate jihadists please stand up and indicate that” – it almost has a comical flavor too. Certainly it has an air of desperation about it I can't take it is going to work and what will happen is that many of the US arms coming in from Turkey will probably end up in the hands of ISIS and other anti-Western groups.

RT: This is the first time the US has authorized direct training and equipment for foreign fighters. Is this a major change to Washington's policy on Syria?

EM: No, I would call it an alteration, because the US through Turkey, and Kurds with Gulf Arabs, Saudis, have been arming Syrian rebels. They armed the Libyans who were fighting Gaddafi, they are sending more weapons to Iraq now, so the US is fueling the war and it is providing most of the finance to keep this war going in Syria. This really is the last roll of the dice for the US and this does not work. The only resource is to let the Israelis to come in and change the course of battle.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Comments (51)

 

RichardD 30.06.2014 05:23

Karp Victor 30.06.2014 05:03



Le t me remind you that every war israel fought and even against the best Russian pilots with their newest migs on the Egyptian side (i know the names of 6 of them), the Russian "state of the art" equipment was on the losing side

  


Syria not taking down Israeli aircraft outside of Syrian airspace doesn't mean that they're incapable of it. The British and US didn't want to go up against the Russians in Syria, what makes you think that Israel would fair any better? What's Israel going to do, occupy Damascus, how do you think that would go? Probably not well.

 

Karp Victor 30.06.2014 05:03

Markus Armstrong 29.06.2014 16:47



Wit h what? Israeli 70's era F-16s go in at will (like last week) & the "state of the art Russian SAM systems" did nothing. Israel, thanks to the US, is armed to the teeth, including nukes. I hope Assad stays in power though, even though I'm an American.

  


Le t me remind you that every war israel fought and even against the best Russian pilots with their newest migs on the Egyptian side (i know the names of 6 of them), the Russian "state of the art" equipment was on the losing side

 

Karp Victor 30.06.2014 05:00

Seems that fueling war in Ukraine doest work for Russia either

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