Friday, March 29, 2013

Syrian jihadists have Western weapons courtesy Saudi Arabia and Qatar

It will be stressed that neither country would willingly give these weapons to known jihadists, and as they have said as much they should be believed, right?  Yet as most of us knew the weapons would, eventually go to those who want the imposition of a true Islamic state in Syria, and Al-Nusra has been designated by our administration as the top terrorist group working within the FSA, but somehow our guns magically appear in their hands on the battlefield.  Granted they are Croatian weapons and not directly from a US manufacturer (as far as we know) but still they are not used guns from a previous skirmish, nor are they from China or North Korea, they are top of the line military weapons made to kill many and decimate the enemy.  Who do you think will be the enemy targeted after the fall of Assad?

All those weapons and no one to turn them on...what to do, what to do.

From VOA March 25 by Jamie Dettmar

Syrian Jihadist Fighters Getting Western Weapons

A Syrian rebel group the Obama administration considers a terrorist organization is managing to obtain modern anti-tank weapons meant for other groups fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad, according to regional experts.

The Jihadist Jabhat al-Nusra militia is managing to secure weapons being supplied by Saudi Arabia and Qatar to rebel brigades affiliated to the Free Syrian Army, the experts say. The Obama administration considers al-Nusra a terrorist organization because of suspected links with al-Qaida.

The weapons include the Croatian-made M79 portable 90 mm anti-tank gun and M60 recoilless anti-tank weapons. Regional experts say Saudi Arabia and Qatar had been supplying such weapons to rebel units more acceptable to the West, mainly secular or nationalist-focused groups such as the Free Syrian Army (FSA) brigades fighting to oust the Assad government.

Croatian-made weapons

According to the experts, the weapons are now appearing in the hands of al-Nusra fighters in videos posted by group on Jihadist websites.

In February, the New York Times first reported that the Saudis were supplying Syrian rebels with arms bought from Croatia. The supply operation was prompted by the fear in the West, and among Gulf allies, that Jihadist groups were better equipped than other rebel units and were increasingly able to dominate the anti-Assad movement.

The newspaper reported Monday that U.S. Central Intelligence Agency consultants were helping Arab nations and Turkey in getting heavy weapons to the Syrian rebels despite Washington’s public stance against supplying such weapons itself.

Citing air traffic data and interviews with unnamed officials and rebel commanders, the Times said the weapons airlift to the rebels had grown to include more than 160 military flights by Jordanian, Saudi and Qatari cargo planes landing at Esenboga Airport near Ankara, and at other Turkish and Jordanian airports.

Reports of CIA assistance

Croatian weaponry believed to be part of those airlifts had been seen being used earlier this year by other Jihadist groups fighting in Syria, but al-Nusra videos posted on the internet this weekend showed for the first time their fighters using the M79 and M60 antitank weapons.
“Neither of these weapons are locally available, either from the black market or looted from the Syrian army because they don't have them,” said British-based weapons researcher, Eliot Higgins, who first spotted the videos. “That's what made them so easy to track; they stand out like sore thumbs in Syria.”

Since announcing its formation in Syria in early 2012, Jabhat al-Nusra has grown rapidly and is considered one of the most effective forces opposing the Assad government.

The rise of al-Nusra, which has homegrown fighters in its ranks as well foreign jihadists drawn from elsewhere in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, has complicated Western considerations about whether and how to supply arms to the Syrian rebels.

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