Tuesday, April 19, 2011

'US Funds Syrian Opposition Groups'

'US funds Syrian opposition groups'

Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:54AM

Secret diplomatic cables released by the website WikiLeaks indicate that the US has conducted a long campaign to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

The cables published on the Washington Post on Monday revealed that the US State Department has secretly funded Syrian opposition groups with nearly $6 million since 2006.

The report said that Washington also financed the operation of a satellite channel, Brada TV. The television is said to be closely affiliated with a group of Syrian exiles in London, a Press TV correspondent reported Tuesday.

The funding started during the administration of former US President George W. Bush in 2005, and continued to his incumbent successor, Barack Obama.

In May 2010, Obama extended the country's Bush-era sanctions against Syria, and accused Assad's regime of supporting terrorism.

Investigative Journalist Wayne Madsen believes that the US and its allies are trying to influence uprisings across the Arab world.

“There is a conscious attempt by the United States and its allies to influence the outcome,” he said.

“The six million dollars may not sound like a lot of money, but it is the tip of the iceberg. That is the official money from the State Department. We do not know how much money has been laundered through other agencies.”

Syria is a candidate for becoming the Unite Nations top human rights body.

However, the Obama administration says it would be hypocritical of the Syrian government to take such a role.

Madsen says the United States is hypocritical and has a double standard on human rights in individual countries.

“We see close US allies in Bahrain, for example, and other countries certainly not getting this kind of treatment as we are applying against Syria and Libya. And I think this does show the hypocrisy of the United States,” he said.

The Syrian president says his country encounters conspiracy.

On Sunday, armed gangs killed at least 11 people, including an army general and three of his family members in the Syrian city of Homs.

Another police officer was also killed in a nearby town of Talbisa. Witnesses said that a group of black-clad men opened fire on a crowd.

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