The “Syria War” took a horrific escalation today as Syrian Defense Minister Dawoud Rajha, a Christian, was assassinated in a suicide bombing by the United States backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels; which was immediately followed by a retaliatory Hezbollah bombing of three tour busses in Burgas, Bulgaria that killed eight Israelis. The FSA attack appears to have been coordinated to occur just before today’s United Nations Security Council meeting on imposing sanctions on Syrian leaders, including Rajha. The U.N. subsequently suspended today’s sanction vote as the war went global.
Since the middle of 2011, the Obama Administration, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have openly backed a Sunni Muslim Jihadist rebellion in Syria as a vehicle to bring pressure against Syria’s key ally, Shite Muslim Iran. As we reported in Obama Tries to Wag a Dog that Bites Back andother articles, the President had hoped that his Syrian adventure would rally patriotic military support just in time for the November elections, in a similar manner as his surreptitious support of the rebel movement and then military bombing led to the ouster Colonel Muammar Gadhafi from Libya. But as the United States escalated has escalated equipping of the FSA; Russia, China, Iran and Hezbollah have escalated their aid of Syria. Last month a U.S. made Turkish reconnaissance fighter was shot down over Syrian territorial water by a Russian missile.
Over the last twelve months, as rebels failed to take any cities or hold any territory, the Syrians have been resupplied with the most sophisticated weapons their Russian benefactors have to offer. To compliment $5 billion in purchases of highly competitive Russian armaments over the last ten years, Russia just shipped Pantsyr-S1 and Buk-M2 anti-aircraft missiles that are known to be highly effective against air or sea attacks to Syria. Brig. Gen. Itay Baron, head of the Israeli Military Intelligence, also confirmed that together Syria and Iran now have approximately 3,500 ballistic missiles, and Hezbollah has about 60,000 rockets and missiles aimed at Israel or any other invader. This figure has increased by 1000% in the last six years.
In April, Kofi Annan, the former United Nations Secretary General was appointed to act as a special U.N. envoy. Shortly thereafter, he reported that the Syrian government led by Bashar al-Assad had agreed to a six-point peace plan, which laid out a framework for a cease-fire that did not involve the president leaving power. Syria agreed to the cease fire and allowed 300 cease-fire observers into Syria as part of the “U.N. Stabilization Mission.” According to Stratfor Global intelligence Report, the FSA used the cease fire to smuggle more weapons and foreign Jihadi fighters into the country. On June 16th Mission Head Gen. Robert Mood told the BBC that because neither the Syrian government nor the FSA was willing to seek peace, U.N. had suspended its observer mission in Syria.
Over the last three months, the United States and Russia have continuously escalated their forces in and around Syria to the largest naval confrontations since the Viet Nam War. The United States has deployed four Carrier Air Wing Strike Groups to the Middle East; including the USS Enterprise, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Abraham Lincoln (plus the USS Harry S. Truman is now under way in the Atlantic Ocean). The American armada is supplemented with the USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group, composed of a heavily reinforced mobile battalion sized Marine Expedition Unit. The Russians have responded by sending their Admiral Kuznetsov Carrier Strike Force, five naval heavy cruisers, five Amphibious Ready Groups and numerous helicopter gunships to patrol the Syrian Coast as a demonstration of Russia’s willingness to fight for Syria.
In what appears to be a prelude to today’s suicide bombing, the London Daily Telegraph reported yesterday that President Barack Obama had warned America’s western allies and Syria’s opposition groups that the United States “can do nothing to intervene in the country’s crisis until after November’s presidential election.” But since May, the United States CIA officers operating out of Turkey have been actively helping smuggle arms to the Syrian opposition through the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.
It is unclear so far if the United States had any direct or indirect involvement in the suicide bombing in the Syrian capital today. But the White House told the BBC immediately after the bombing that “Syrian President Bashar al Assad is losing control of Syria, and the international community must help work toward a political transition.” Shortly thereafter, the Obama Administration’s bravado was silenced by the Hezbollah retaliation in Bulgaria. But what is crystal clear, is that the Obama Administration has successfully cranked up a new Middle East war just in time for the November elections.
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