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Mon Feb 25, 2013, 03:38 PM

IHT: How Syria Is Becoming Bosnia

Many analysts believe the Obama administration’s policy toward Syria is a failure. Many believe the time has come for the Obama administration to mount a new policy in Syria. But don’t expect one anytime soon. Repeating prior arguments, the official said the administration opposed supplying the rebels with anti-aircraft missiles out of concern that the weapons could fall into the hands of jihadists. ...rebels complained that the United States was blocking countries in the region from providing sophisticated anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles to them.

Iran, Hezbollah and Russia are funneling more aid, armaments and diplomatic cover
to Bashar al-Assad. ...the White House official called the extent of Iranian assistance to Mr. Assad “stunning.” “They are all in,” the official said. “They are doing everything they can to support the Assad regime and putting in enormous amounts of arms and individuals.”

Across the country, pro-Assad forces use airplanes, Scud ballistic missiles and artillery to level rebel controlled neighborhoods. While Syrian insurgents fight with the tragi-comic “do-it-yourself" weapons” displayed in this Atlantic slide show.

And Syrian rebels who once hailed the United States now loathe it. ... In an incisive essay published last week in the London Review of Books, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, a journalist with the Guardian, described the continued atomization of the Syrian opposition. ... “Why are the Americans doing this to us?” one rebel commander demands. “They told us they wouldn’t send us weapons until we united. So we united in Doha. Now what’s their excuse?”

http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/25/how-syria-is-becoming-bosnia/

The linked essay in the London Review of Books has a lot of information of events on the ground and the ebb and flow of the fighting.

I think the administration is right not to continue to refuse to send heavy weapons to the rebels. Refusing to do so (and preventing Turkey and others from doing it) hurts our 'leverage' with them but that is unavoidable.

On balance, things sound like they may be turning Assad's way. As long as he keeps receiving arms supplies from his allies it is hard to imagine him not 'winning' (although what the 'victor' - whichever side it is - is left with will be a shadow of what Syria used to be).

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Reply IHT: How Syria Is Becoming Bosnia (Original post)
pampango Feb 2013 OP
Comrade Grumpy Feb 2013 #1

Response to pampango (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 03:52 PM

1. That LRB article is very good, and very dispiriting.

It describes flows of arms and money from the Gulf states to various rebel factions. It also makes it seem like the FSA is a joke, a fiction. Instead, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of "battalions," all doing their own thing. Hey, it's a living!

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