30.09.2013 Author: Vladimir Platov

Syrian opposition and international terrorism

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Source: Flickr

The unanimous adoption by the UN Security Council member states of the resolution on the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria has, undoubtedly, not only demonstrated the victory of the Russian approach to the peace settlement of the Syrian conflict, but also further strengthened Russia’s international standing. This conclusion has been reached by the absolute majority of the foreign media both in the Middle East and in Western countries, where, over recent months, the population has been a hostage of the unleashing of adventurist large-scale military activities against the legitimate Syrian power by Washington, London, Paris and the Persian Gulf monarchies.

From the very start of the deterioration of the internal situation in the SAR in March 2011, the leading countries of the West – in violation of international norms on the prohibition of armed assistance to one of the parties of an internal conflict (please, refer to UN Assembly Resolution 2625) and with financial support from Qatar and Saudi Arabia – decided to use the developments in Syria in order to overthrow by force this country’s government.

To that end, a wide range of forces and means were used, including the structural formation of the armed opposition, supplying them with arms, training them to conduct a subversive war, with an active involvement of instructors from Western secret services, in the first place, the USA, France and England. In order to provide public and information support for these processes, Washington created the so-called Friends of Syria Group, dealing with the organisation of the delivery of military and other types of aid to Syrian “rebels”.

The numerous calls of the clear-headed part of the international community to stop providing military aid for the Syrian opposition, first of all due to their close links with terrorist formations, fell on deaf ears in the West. Moreover, such warnings gave another impetus to the widespread recruitment of considerable additional numbers of militants on the part of the Wahhabi monarchies of the Persian Gulf, and it was not only in the Arab-Muslim countries, but in Europe as well, as evidenced by numerous facts. According to rough estimations by Western experts, the number of such militants in Syria reaches today approximately 10 thousand people, which is commensurate with the size of a proper army, which, after obtaining combat experience in Syria’s conditions, can become a serious problem for the security of any state, including the USA and the EU countries.

The first steps of the international diplomacy on 27 September earlier this year to extinguish the hotbed of the military conflict in Syria and for the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution on the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria proved to be an additional litmus test for the Syrian opposition in terms of identifying their real nature and obtaining additional evidence of their links with terrorist formations. As early as 20 September of this year, one of the rebel groups, who are part of the Free Syrian Army, concluded an agreement “on truce” with the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’ group associated with Al-Qaeda.

On 26 September, thirteen Syrian police units, which are part of the Free Syrian Army and which have been earlier supported by the USA, publicly announced that they did not accept the political solution of the internal conflict and that they were joining forces with Al-Qaeda groups. The Al-Nusra Front was among the first to sign this declaration. It is one of the largest armed groups which has been officially recognised by Washington as a terrorist organisation. The declaration has been also joined by the Syrian rebel extremist formations of Liwa Al-Tawhid, Liwa al-Islam, Suqour al-Sham Brigade, along with the North Storm Brigade (engaged in smuggling and trafficking people), whose representatives were “kindly” met by US Republican Senator John McCain on 27 May earlier this year.

The desire of the Syrian militants to join terrorist branches can be explained, first of all, by the fact that they are militarily stronger that the other rebel groups. Besides, these steps, undoubtedly, speak of the strengthening of the radical and terrorist groups’ influence among the Syrian opposition over recent days. Therefore, it can be expected that there will be an increased fight in the SAR on the part of the rebels against both the government forces and among themselves for power and influence in the country.

In these circumstances, the continuation of the support from the West and the Gulf monarchies for the armed Syrian opposition can not only do away with the diplomatic efforts on the settlement of the Syrian conflict, but also increase the terrorist threat on the part of militants from around the world.

Vladimir Platov, Middle East expert, exclusively for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook.


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