Tuesday, March 20, 2012

NATO Operating Covertly in Syria

NATO operating covertly in Syria

Wednesday, 21 March 2012 00:00

Stephen Lendman

On March 6, the BBC reported Obama saying Washington won’t intervene in Syria unilaterally. At the same time, he stopped short of ruling out joint Western aggression.

In his first 2012 news conference, he said: “The notion that the way to solve every one of these problems is to deploy our military, that hasn’t been true in the past, and it won’t be true now. We’ve got to think through what we do through the lens of what’s going to be effective — but also through what’s critical for US security interests.”

Since taking office, Obama launched more belligerence than all his predecessors. He’s not shy about initiating more. As a result, his comments ring hollow, especially given his record as a serial liar. Believe nothing he says. On March 5, Russia Today (RT) headlined, “Stratfor leaks: NATO commandos in illegal special ops in Syria,” saying: According to hacked Stratfor emails released by WikiLeaks, NATO forces already operate covertly in Syria. The company’s analysis director, Reva Bhalla, wrote them for internal use.

They discuss “a confidential Pentagon meeting in December.” Allegedly, senior US, UK and French analysts attended. Western powers categorically denied involvement. It’s known they’ve been supplying opposition forces with heavy weapons for months.

Syrian National Council leader Bassma Kodmani admitted it. Moreover, Assad’s forces intercepted smuggled supplies and uncovered internal caches.

Bhalla claimed US officials “said . . . SOF (special operations forces) teams are already on the ground, focused on recce (reconnaissance) missions and training operations forces.”

She also said the December meeting focused on possible US air strikes.

Comments included saying Washington has “high tolerance for killings,” but won’t initiate attacks without “enough media attention on a massacre like the” falsified one attributed to Gaddafi on Benghazi. Attacks are “doable, (but) the air campaign in Syria makes Libya look like a piece of cake.”

At issue, is Syria’s ballistic missile capability and alleged chemical weapons. France’s official said “Syria won’t be a Libya-type situation in that France would be gung-ho about going in. Not in an election year.”

Britain’s also reluctant but is “looking for ways to reassert itself on the continent following the renegotiations of the EU treaty.”

US army experts said “the idea ‘hypothetically’ is to commit guerrilla attacks, assassination campaigns, try to break the back of the Alawite forces, elicit collapse from within.”

Stratfor won’t comment on the emails, but didn’t deny them. What it knows, in fact, isn’t clear. Russia Today’s Max Keiser calls it the Economist a week later. In other words, it’s talk of high-level insider contacts may be more bravado than fact to sell subscriptions.

On March 4, the Syrian Free Press claimed 100 foreign mercenaries captured after regaining control of Homs. Most were French.

Others were from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab states. They had weapons supplied by America and Israel. On March 5, 13 French officers were captured. RT said Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper reported it.

On March 7, RT said Mossad, CIA and Blackwater elements are operating inside Syria. In addition, according to Lebanon’s Al-Manar, “around 700 gunmen were recently arrested in the former rebel stronghold of Babar Amr.”

They came from Gulf states, Iraq and Lebanon. Qatari intelligence operatives were with them, as well as fighters from Afghanistan, Turkey, France and other European countries. Syrian forces said American, Israeli and European weapons were seized. “The Syrian army also uncovered tunnels and equipment,” as well as “advance” Western and Israeli arms not net tested in real time.

“The Syrian security forces have documents and confessions that could harm everyone who conspired against Syria, and could make a security and political change, not just on the internal Syrian level, but also on the regional level.”

Stratfor’s email suggested covert NATO forces operating in Syria. —


Stephen Lendman is an American writer resident in Chicago.

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