The rapid liberation of the Syrian city of Aleppo, against the background of a complete collapse of the Washington-led coalition’s efforts in Mosul has clearly driven the Obama administration mad.
It’s been reported that a total of 3,000 militants in Syria have voluntarily joined the cease-fire agreement and handed over their weapons to government forces. Fifty-two buses were used to transport these militants together with their families from the outskirts of Damascus to the Syrian province of Idlib. The militants have handed over 500 small arms, including sniper rifles, and a few dozen 120 mm mortars. As for the situation in Aleppo, the Syrian army has been applying so much pressure on Jabhat al-Nusra militants that they’re not just retreating from the city, they’re flee in panic, leaving behind them documents, equipment and weapons. It’s been reported that American-made missile systems were found in liberated areas of Aleppo.
It’s now a well-established fact that on various levels the CIA and the Pentagon have been secretly supplying the so-called “rebels” with TOW anti-tank missiles and anti-aircraft missiles referred to as MANPADS (man-portable air-defense system), as it has previously been reported by a number of European media sources. Thus, the German magazine Focus, citing a Jabhat al-Nusra commander, reported that militants in Syria were receiving TOWs from the United States directly.
Additionally, there’s been programs aimed at arming the so-called “moderate” Syrian opposition indirectly, by using Saudi Arabia as a conduit to supply the TOWs to fight Syrian armoured vehicles more effectively. And each time, instead of answering questions about US arms supplies to militants at US Congressional hearings, the Obama administration’s officials would instead defer, claiming they were “unable to discuss such questions in public.”
At the same time, ISIS was obtaining weapons made in Eastern Europe. As it has been stated by the director of Conflict Armament Research, James Bevan, last summer his company traced a direct source of arms supplies to militants in Syria, from Europe. Sometimes it took small arms mere weeks to reach Iraq and Syria, the expert on illegal weapons tracking said.
Analysts of the British military journal Jane’s Defence Weekly have recently established that the US Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) has released two solicitations in recent months looking for shipping companies to transport explosive material from Eastern Europe to the Jordanian port of Aqaba on behalf of the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command. The cargo listed in the documents included AK-47 rifles, PKM general-purpose machine guns, DShK heavy machine guns, RPG-7 rocket launchers, and 9K111M Faktoria anti-tank guided weapon systems (ATGW). The Faktoria is an improved version of the 9K111 Fagot ATGW, the primary difference being that its missile has a tandem warhead for defeating explosive reactive armour (ERA) fitted to some tanks.
At the same time, a terrorist media source known as the Sham Center has announced that in the province of Hama militants launched three MANPADS rockets simultaneously, damaging a SU-24 of the Syrian Air Force. This tactic seriously increases one’s chances of bringing down a jet, but you need a lot of MANPADS to employ it. Therefore, large amounts of those are being shipped to the north of Syria, where the Syrian army, supported by Russian aircraft, continue their fight to liberate the city of Aleppo.
There’s every reason to believe that we’re witnessing a CIA operation of buying and delivering Soviet-made MANPADS to the Middle East. The SA-18 Grouse and SA-24 Grinch are capable of downing aircraft over several miles. Its capabilities are comparable to the famous US-made Stingers, which the CIA was supplying to the Taliban back in 1980s to fight the Soviet Air Force in Afghanistan.
However, if these deliveries were kept a secret earlier, now Washington sees no reason to hide its wrongdoings, as it is fully aware of the bitter failure of its policies in the Middle East. The US has adopted a bill approving the procedure of supplying this so-called Syrian “opposition” with MANPADS officially.
The loophole was left in the budget of the US Ministry of Defense for 2017 and it was adopted by the House of Representatives on Friday. Before that, US lawmakers made no attempt to approve the shipments of MANPADS to Syria, but they didn’t introduce a direct ban either.
Now we can witness militants in Syria armed with something even more serious than MANPADS, like mobile anti-aircraft weapons and increasingly sophisticated anti-tank missiles. Neither ISIS, nor Jabhat al-Nusra will acquire combat aviation capabilities any time soon, so it is clear that this step is not aimed at helping these “moderates” fight either of these terrorist groups as the US has repeatedly claimed, and not even at fighting the Syrian Air Force, but targeting Russia’s military jets operating in Syria instead.