One detail in the following report that I regard as suspect is that a U.S.-led training operation for FSA rebels would involve Israelis. I don’t think the Israelis would want to be involved and I don’t think the U.S. or Jordanians would welcome their presence. Why provide fodder for the Assad regime and those outside Syria who only too gladly swallow the propaganda that Syria is being threatened by a Zionist conspiracy?
If, as the report suggests, Assad’s use of chemical weapons came as a result of his pledge to use them only in response to “external aggression,” then there would be some strategic logic in what he did. He basically called Obama’s bluff, showing that when Syria lays down a red line it backs it up.
IB Times reports: A West-backed rebel military operation to topple Syrian president Bashar al-Assad under the supervision of Jordanian, Israeli and American forces has already begun according to French newspaper Le Figaro. [See Google translation below.]
Citing unnamed military sources, the daily reported that the first troops trained by Washington and Amman officials were deployed in mid-August in the Deraa region.
A 300-strong group of Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters crossed the border with Syria on 17 August, and were joined by another group two days later.
“According to military sources, the Americans, who don’t want to put troops on Syrian soil or arm rebels who are in part controlled by radical Islamists, have quietly trained a bunch of handpicked FSA fighters in training camps set up at the Jordanian-Syrian border,” the paper said.
Le Figaro believes the pressure mounted by the specially-trained FSA fighters prompted Assad to launch an alleged attack on the rebels on Wednesday, using toxic gas. In July, the Syrian president said in a public speech that the regime would never use those weapons “except for external aggression”. [Continue reading…]
Google translation of French report appearing in Le Figaro: According to our information, the regime’s opponents, supervised by Jordanian, Israeli and American commandos moving towards Damascus since mid-August. This attack could explain the possible use of the Syrian president to chemical weapons.
While it is too early to rule out categorically the argument put forward by Damascus and Moscow, who blame the massacre on the Syrian opposition, it is already possible to provide answers to a troubling question. What benefit would have Assad to launch an unconventional attack at the precise moment when he had to allow UN inspectors – after being stranded for several months – to investigate the use of chemical weapons?
Operational logic first. According to information obtained by Le Figaro, the first trained in guerrilla warfare by the Americans in Jordan Syrian troops reportedly entered into action since mid-August in southern Syria, in the region of Deraa. A first group of 300 men, probably supported by Israeli and Jordanian commandos, as well as men of the CIA, had crossed the border on August 17. A second would have joined the 19. According to military sources, the Americans, who do not want to put troops on the Syrian soil or arming rebels in part controlled by radical Islamists form quietly for several months in a training camp set up at the border Jordanian- Syrian fighters ASL, the Free Syrian Army, handpicked.
Sense of impunity
As for the summer, their protection have begun to shake Syrian battalions in the south, approaching the capital. “Their thrust would now feel into the Ghouta, where formations of ASL were already at work, but really can make a difference on the outskirts of Damascus fortress,” says David Rigoulet-Roze, a researcher at the French Institute for Strategic Analysis (IFAS).
According to this expert on the region, the idea proposed by Washington would be the possible establishment of a buffer zone from the south of Syria, or even a no-fly zone, which would cause opponents safely until the balance of power changes. This is the reason why the United States has deployed Patriot batteries and F16 in late June Jordan.
Military recent pressure against al-Ghouta threatens the capital Damascus, the heart of the Syrian regime. In July, the spokesman of President al-Assad had publicly stated that the scheme would not use chemical weapons in Syria “except in case of external aggression.” The intrusion of foreign agents in the south, for example …
The other reason, if the army has actually committed a massacre in Damascus chemical is more diplomatic. Since August, 2012, when Barack Obama warned that the use of chemical weapons was a “red line” that, once crossed, could trigger a military intervention, thirteen smaller chemical attack have been identified without causing American reaction. Admittedly, the evidence is difficult to obtain, since Damascus routinely blocks the work of UN investigators. The sense of impunity felt by the Syrian regime is reinforced by the Russian protection afforded to the Security Council of the UN. Barack Obama, when he arrived at the White House, the Kremlin had proposed a “reset” of relations, not to break the link with Moscow. U.S. Chief of Staff, Martin Dempsey, the principal military adviser, justifies his opposition to intervention, even limited by the fragmentation of the Syrian opposition and the weight exerted by extremist groups.
What are the options?
If the Syrian regime is actually behind the chemical bombardment of Damascus, it will take a further degree is a conflict that has claimed more than 100,000 lives. “There is more of a small-scale test as before. Chemical weapons are now part of the war, where they play a deterrent role. This is a message to the Americans. It is also a challenge to Barack Obama, who risks losing its legitimacy with its allies in the world, “an expert analysis of the case.
Along with clandestine operations from Jordanian soil, the international community, as each time the crisis is reaching a peak, reconsider the various military options. Arming the rebels? “If we do one day we will not say,” said a diplomatic source. Surgical air strikes? Possible, but the solution involves risk regionalization of the conflict. Special forces to secure and neutralize chemical weapons sites? Israel hit neighboring Syria repeatedly. But Western intelligence services did not want to risk that stocks of chemical weapons falling into the hands of jihadist groups. Last option, inaction. It is that which seems to have bet on Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.