Christopher Lee


CIA Controls Arms To Syria Rebels. A Very Dangerous Game For Team Obama

23 March 2013

Hear the one about President Obama not wanting to get too involved in the Syria thing? Good. Now try this: hear the one about President Obama being very much involved in the Syria thing like helping to move weapons into the rebels?

Cannot be true?  Why only last week the British Foreign Minister, William Hague who is almost on first names terms with the US Secretary of State John Kerry (Mr Kerry, to Hague) was putting it around that he was sad that an EU arms embargo was stopping right thinking people shifting weapons into rebel hands.


Seems Mr Kerry forgot to mention that the CIA has been directly involved in weapons airlifts along with Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar Saudi Arabia and US-UK fellow NATO ally Turkey.


Or maybe Mr Hague is not out of the loop. Some say that the UK call to arms is a political bluff.  They are involved already and want to get deeper into it for fear of being dumped into the second team of Saudi influence makers in the Middle East when the Syrian civil war cools.


According to people who know these things in this the Turkish capital, the CIA controlled airlifts started on January 3 last year but progress was slow and Obama did not want this blowing during his election campaign.  


That’s one of the reasons why the CIA’s role has been cautious having been told during the first few weeks of 2012 that the US was backing the rebels.  And it could be that the brains behind the US end was David Petraeus, former general, former director the CIA and presumably, former adulterer.


The main thrust of the operation was held back until Obama was into his second term because no one could guess what a Mitt Romney Republic Administration may have done.

As soon as the results were declared in November, the full arms transfer got under way. The main co-ordination and take-off/landing point is, so locals say, is the airport known as Esenboga not far from the Turkish capital, Ankara.


But if Turkish and Jordanian people are right, the command and control for the American operation is in Al Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar because that one of the main centres for US logistics in the Middle East.


It may be that the CIA is not doing the lifting and carrying of these weapons.


Instead, they are fixing people and contacts and making sure the plan flies.  There’s an irony.  It could be that the US is not actually supporting the rebels.  It is in practical terms America is instead supporting the Middle East states such as Saudi Arabia its closest ally in the region after Israel.

The US facilitation has included an important and necessary clandestine operation in Croatia which has become a weapons flea-market.  The American “officials” vet the buyers as well as the sellers and also tell the mostly Arab paymasters who among the rebels is a reliable ally in the future.

Mind you, this arms traffic – estimated to be in the thousands of tones so far –  is not one way.  Russian and Iranians arms people who are not natural allies have it seems become mainstream suppliers to the Syria government forces of President Bashar al-Assad.


There is growing pressure from the rebels to increase the flow through Turkey and through Jordan in support of the southern based groups. If there is an obvious reservation it is that providing humanitarian aid is one thing for Jordan and Turkey, acting as arms quartermasters is quite another and could lead them directly into the conflict.


The main and continuing concern is who gets the weapons.  The mainstream rebel groups are on side according to CIA officials.  But the headache is how to stop Islamist groups fighting among the rebels getting their hands on new equipment.

Here is one the reason – apart from instinctive duplicity – why the Chinese and Russians say it is wrong to arm the rebels: not everyone is sure who they are and who they represent and who they may represent in future.

Backing one side or the other is historically a risky and often a treacherous business.  But that is exactly the business the CIA and its cousins in this operation are in.

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