Washington and London Have Already Launched a Civil War in Syria
February 21, 2012 • 9:59AM

India's former Ambassador to the United Nations, Chinmaya Gharekhan, in an op-ed with Monday's issue of the news daily, The Hindu said that by now, the civil war is well set in Syria. He said: Two facts are evident in the situation in Syria. The "international community" is determined to topple Bashar Al Assad's regime, and there is heavy and undisguised involvement of external forces, with active encouragement and assistance including financing and arming of anti-regime elements. There are reports of Libyan fighters having been brought to join the dissidents in Syria. The Assad regime — father and son — has been a thorn in the side of some countries, especially Israel — and hence America — because of its alliance with Iran and resultant backing of the Hezbollah, its alleged role in the assassination of pro-West Prime Minister of Lebanon Rafiq Hariri in 2005, its initial alleged support of the Ba'athists in Iraq, as well as its continuing alliance with Russia. (Did the Cold War never really end or has it revived?) Saudi Arabia, which has never been comfortable with Syria because of its tendency to follow an "independent" line, was particularly upset with Bashar Assad following the murder of Hariri, who was a protégé of the Saudi ruling family. Given Saudi domination in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), it is logical for this group also to be opposed to Syria.

Two visiting Republican senior Senators in Kabul, John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, laid out to the media a series of diplomatic, humanitarian and military aid proposals that would put the United States squarely behind the effort to topple Syria's President. The Senators, both on the Senate Armed Services Committee (McCain is the Ranking Republican), said that rebel fighters deserved to be armed and that helping them take on the Syrian government would aid Washington's effort to weaken Iran.

That the dissidents are getting armed is no secret. Russia Today's website published a photograph of an Iraqi gunman with "Free Syria" inscription on his palm — proving once again the Syrian government's claim that the opposition was being largely helped by foreigners — and the regime is fighting armed insurgents. Last week, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had told the U.S. Congress that President Bashar Al-Assad is also fighting against al-Qaeda of Iraq.

The "Army of Free Iraqis," who once fought U.S. troops in Iraq, is now moving inside Syria. Iraqi officials and arms dealers told RT that weapons and Sunni Muslim insurgents were seeping from Iraq into Syria, fueling violence in the country. Iraqi security officials confirmed there were signs that Sunni insurgents have been crossing the border to join Assad's opponents. Gun smugglers are cashing in, as prices doubled for weapons they have brought across the border in commercial cargoes.