Syria: NATO countries are already militarily active in Syria – an overview

Posted: March 9, 2012 in Sideviews
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Currently, there are two calls for peace circulating with a good response about Syria and Iran. Both are calling for an end to the threats of war, intervention, sanctions, and so on (e.g. stop the preparations for war!, End the Embargos, Solidarity with the peoples of Iran and Syria! and “Hands off Iran and Syria” and the equally worthy demand of the IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War) to “stop violence in Syria – to prevent war“).

All calls / demands want an end to the military support to armed opposition groups in Syria by NATO nations. Such a foreign interference in Syria was subsequently disputed by the critics of these callings. Below is a selection of available information, which are showing, that at least some NATO countries are already involved in Syria and are also already militarily active. (Against international laws)


As usual in such cases, there is little direct evidence for it. Finally, the intervening powers use every effort, to not leave any tangible traces of their hidden interferences. But there is a series of important instructions which certainly prove the direct military support to armed opposition groups in Syria by the United States, France and Great Britain. (Not to mention the support by Saudi Arabia and Qatar)

Turkey operates a completely open support between the NATO member countries. Alone by the fact that the Turkish governments allows the so-called “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) to operate on Turkish territory. The known Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, merged feudal states, are also very active.

Ahead Qatar, which is currently the most aggressive ally of Western powers against Syria. Also Saudi Arabia, which has a long clandestine support for Islamist opposition groups within Syria.

1. Secret weapons shipments by NATO

As the ex-CIA officer Philip Giraldi says, not-marked NATO planes are delivering weapons and volunteers from Libya to the Turkish bases in Iskenderun. (NATO vs. Syria, The American Conservative, 19/12/2011)

The South-Turkish port city of Iskenderun, which is near the Syrian border, is also the base of the so-called “Free Syrian Army” (FSA). The weapons, which are collected in Libya, are very practical for them. These Libyan weapons have the advantage that they cannot be traced back to the suppliers (e.g. NATO).

The Libyan fighters / mercenaries have their fresh experiences with how to recruit new people into the fight against trained soldiers. Not to mention that these trained (Syrian) soldiers are not able to fight back with full forces because of the external pressure.

The former CIA-guy Philip Giraldi also said, that French and British instructors from the Special Forces are already on the ground to help the so-called Syrian rebels, while the CIA and U.S. Special Forces are providing communications equipment and intelligence information to the rebels, so that these armed rebels are able to prevent open fights with larger collections of Syrian troops.

Giraldi is considered as credible, and is quoted by many media, including by Jonathan Steele in The Guardian (“Most Syrians back President Assad, but you’d never know from western media“, German translation) and by the German newspaper “Die Welt” (Homs waiting for the decisive battle, 11.2.2012).

Also the known Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, has accused the West already several times to arm the Syrian rebels – just have a look at the sources: “About Turkey, Iraq and other countries weapons are smuggled to Syria.” – “Moscow accuses the West “incitement” in Syria”, dpa, 04.11.2011.

10 days later, the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov is slightly getting harsh (Russia’s Lavrov accuses West of arming Syrian opposition, dpa, 14.11.2011):

Western nations are illicitly providing arms to Syria’s opposition to force the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad, Russia’s top diplomat said Monday. ‘Nobody is commenting on it and no one is admitting it, but the facts are impossible to contradict: weapons are being smuggled into Syria from Turkey and Iraq,’ said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. ‘Armed extremists are using peaceful demonstrations to provoke Syrian government violence,’ Lavrov was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

Also, the Israeli military information portal DEBKAfile has a lot published, including information about planned deliveries of antitank weapons to Syrian opposition forces. The texts are no longer free accessible. Among other things, but Michael Chossudovsky cites passages from it in: The Pentagon’s “Salvador Option”: The deployment of Death Squads in Iraq and Syria, Global Research, 08.16.2011.

Already in August, DEBKAfile has published, that Syrian security forces are facing “fierce resistance” now. “Fortified barricades and tank traps are facing the Syrian army. Occupied by protesters with heavy machine guns.” – Not exactly the picture of peaceful demonstrators.

The NATO headquarters in Brussels and the Turkish High Command are now working out plans for their first military step in Syria, which consists in equipping the rebels with weapons for fighting against tanks and helicopters […]. It seems that the NATO strategists don`t want to repeat the Libyan model of air strikes, they rather think about the delivering of large amounts of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, mortars and heavy machine guns into the centers of protest in Syria, to that these armed insurgents are able to fight back against the armored units of the Syrian government. Again, against international laws. (NATO rebels to give anti-tank weapons, DEBKAfile, August 14, 2011)

The information on DEBKAfile have to be considered as skeptical and must be used with caution, because of his alleged proximity to Israeli intelligence. The reports of operations by NATO Special Forces in Libya, which was also published by this site early, have been all confirmed in the end.

2. Intelligence Agents and Special Forces from NATO countries

The British “Daily Star” reported earlier this year:

As the unrest and killings escalate in the troubled Arab state, agents from MI6 and the CIA are already in Syria assessing the situation, a security official has revealed. Special forces are also talking to Syrian dissident soldiers. They want to know about weapons and communications kit rebel forces will need if the Government decides to help. “MI6 and the CIA are in Syria to infiltrate and get at the truth,” said the well-placed source. “We have SAS and SBS not far away who want to know what is happening and are finding out what kit dissident soldiers need.” (Syria Will Be Bloodiest Yet, the Daily Star Sunday, 01.01.2012)

On one side of the “Elite UK Forces,” it says:

As government forces continue a brutal crackdown on popular uprisings throughout Syria, there has been growing chatter indicating that British Special Forces are in some way assiting forces aligned against the Syrian regime. Reports from late November last year state that British Special forces have met up with members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the armed wing of the Syrian National Council. The apparent goal of this initial contact was to establish the rebel forces’ strength and to pave the way for any future training operations.

More recent reports have stated that British and French Special Forces have been actively training members of the FSA, from a base in Turkey. Some reports indicate that training is also taking place in locations in Libya and Northern Lebanon. British MI6 operatives and UKSF (SAS/SBS) personnel have reportedly been training the rebels in urban warfare as well as supplying them with arms and equipment. US CIA operatives and special forces are believed to be providing communications assistance to the rebels. (British Special Forces Training Syrian Rebels?, 01/05/2012)

Pepe Escobar of “Asia Times” has reported similar. Diplomats in Brussels have confirmed to him, that NATO and the GCC armed forces have set up a command center in Iskenderun, in southern Turkey. Iskenderun is located near the Syrian border and was once the port of Aleppo, the strategically most important, second largest city of Syria.

Officially, the command center should serve to create a so-called “humanitarian corridor” to Syria. The French satirical weekly “Le Canard Enchaine” and the Turkish newspaper “Milliyet” have reported, however, that some commands of the French Intelligence Service and from the British MI6 are already training fighters of the so-called “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) in Hatay in southern Turkey and also in Tripoli in northern Lebanon – in urban guerrilla warfare techniques. Weapons – shotguns to machine guns and RPGs Israeli [“Propelled Grenades Rocked” rocket launcher] – were smuggled into Syria in large numbers.

It is no secret in Syria, so Pepe Escobar, that armed gangs of Salafis (Salafists / Salafiyah – Sunni extremists) and simple criminals have attacked regular soldiers, police and even civilians since the beginning of this protest movement in Syria. (Pepe Escobar, The Shadow was in Syria, Asia Times, 02/12/2011

According to the Israeli sources of DEBKAfile, they are considering in Brussels and Ankara, to start a campaign to recruit thousands of Muslim vlunteers from the Muslim world, to fight alongside the armed Syrian rebels. The Turkish army would train these volunteers then and also ensure their way to Syria. (Cited by Michel Chossudovsky – The Pentagon’s “Salvador Option”) Plans, therefore, which remind us to the recruitment of Mujahedeen by the CIA to fight the Soviet troops in Afghanistan.

In early February, DEBKAfile has reported, that the first foreign troops in Syria have begun with the direct support of rebel militias. (First foreign troops in Syria Homs back rebels, DEBKAfile 08/02/2012)

According to exclusive military and intelligence sources of DEBKAfile, British and Qatari Special Forces operating in the Syrian city of Homs, only 162 kilometers from Damascus, under cover along with armed rebel troops. The foreign troops do not directly taking part in the fighting with the armed rebel militias against the Syrian armed forces, which are said to have bombed various parts of Syria’s third largest city with 1.2 million inhabitants.

They are tactical adviser, take care of the communication channels and give the rebels their demands for weapons, ammunition, combatants and are also logistical supporters for foreign supporters, mainly in Turkey.

This website was the first which has published a report about the presence of foreign military forces in any of the disputed territories in the so-called Syrian uprising. Our sources report that the two foreign contingents have established four operational centers – in the northern district of Homs, Khaldiya, in Baba Amro (Baba Amr / Homs) in the east, in Bab Derib and Rastan to the north. In each of these areas live more than a quarter million Syrian people.

The presence of British and Qatari troops in Syria had been taken up by the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan for a new plan, which he presented to the Turkish parliament in Ankara on 7 February.

After the British-Qatari foreign contingents were able to put a first foot in the “Syrian door”, he wanted to send “Turkish-Arab forces” through “that door to Homs” – under the protection of these British-Qatari foreign contingents. Afterwards, these Turkish-Arab forces should move to other “neighborhoods” in Syria.

It is difficult to say, so the analysts of DEBKAfile, whether the latest plan of the Turkish leader is more practical than its previous intervention plans. At the moment he tries to have the support of the United States and the Arab feudal rulers.

Report of the Arab League Observer Mission

The Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov also refers to the report of the Observer Mission of the Arab League, which provides no information about the origin of weapons or states which support the armed groups, but it in detail describes the violence of these armed Syrian rebels / insurgents – not only against security forces, but also against Syrian civilians.

Imperfect as this observer mission was, so the Arab League Observer-report provides information from 140 people from a dozen countries, who have researched intensively for a month. Since the majority of the governments of the members of this Arab League Observer Mission in Syria are against the Syrian President al-Assad, the final report supports the opposition (abroad) rather than the Syrian government, but, however, the Observer report provides the most objective picture that you can get about Syria right now.

Was the mission initially welcomed by the Syrian opposition excited, the exiled opposition figures as well as the GCC became violently opposed to the Arab League Observer report when it became clear that the observers to Syria have taken their task really seriously.

The report, (which was buried by Qatar) which the Gulf monarchs tried to prevent (publication), can be found here: Report of the Arab League Observer Mission to Syria (pdf).

See also: Karin Leukefeld, Unwanted information: Arab League and the United Nations Observer Mission ignore the report, German magazine “Junge Welt”, 02/15/2012

Analyzes of the Western strategy against Syria

Very interesting in this regard, although no details are mentioned here, is the Stratfor analysis: The Syria Crisis: Assessing Foreign Intervention, v. 12.15.2011 and the very informative post by Aisling Byrne of Conflicts Forum, Beirut, including the U.S. Papers of the Brookings Institute (“Towards a Post-Assad Syria”, “Which Path to Persia?”) analyzes that look like a blueprint for the current policy. (A mistaken case for Syrian regime change, Asia Times, 01/05/2011)

Source: Nato-Staaten sind längst militärisch in Syrien aktiv – ein Überblick

Image: jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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