Your humble observer here at Asylum Watch has been under the impression That, other than the US covertly supplying the rebels in Syria, that it was the Saudi Arabia and Qatar working hand-in-hand who were the principle suppliers of armaments to the Syrian rebel groups. According to this DEBKA File article (via BadBlue) I may have been wrong about the “hand-in-hand” part.
As the civil war in Syria has drug on and on and the death count is estimated to be over 70.000, many military experts explained that the war would continue to drag on unless the rebels were supplied heavy weapons to help even the odds for the rebels fighting against the well equipped Syrian Army. Our less than competent Secretary of State at the time, Hillary Clinton, responded saying something to the effect: ” Oh sure. What are we supposed to do? Just drive tanks across the border?” Apparently the Saudis think that is exactly what those who want to put and end to the Assad regime should do.
The news that Saudi Arabia was supplying Syrian rebels with heavy weapons stunned the Arab League summit taking place in Doha, Qatar this week, bringing it to a clamorous end,DEBKAfile’s intelligence and Middle East sources reveal.
Saudi and Qatari delegates were heard hurling shrill abuse at one another and exchanging blows in private meeting rooms down the corridors of the assembly hall. The conference proceedings were abruptly halted as Arab delegation members pitched in to separate them. A total blackout was quickly drawn down on the summit as it broke up in disarray.
The Saudi royal rulers and Qatar’s Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani have been at extreme loggerheads over the Syrian civil conflict. Riyadh – and Prince Bandar in particular – accuses the Qataris of conspiring to bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Damascus, including radical groups tied to Al Qaeda.
Qatari Prime Minister and Secret Service Chief Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem has shot back with the charge that Saudi Arabia is maneuvering for control of the Syrian rebel movement.
The Saudis condemn Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s close ties with Qatar’s ruling family which they say eggs on Doha’s schemes for Syria.
Ah yes! The Muslim Brotherhood and their al Qaeda enforcers. To be sure, the Saudis do not wat the Arab Spring coming to their lands. And, so we see that among the Sunni Arab nations there is a split. The article does not tell us why Qatar objected to the heavy weapons entering the fight on the side of the rebels. One can assume that the Saudis probably delivered them to the Syrian Liberation Army and not to one of the factions supported by the Muslim Brotherhood.
So, what kind of heavy weapons did Prince Bandar bring to Syria. Well, the Prince doesn’t think small like Hillary Clinton. He wants the rebels to capture the big Syrian Nairab air base attached to Aleppo’s international air port and stop the Iran and Russia from supply Assad’s military:
His agents scoured the Balkans nations of Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo and for large wads of cash snapped up Russian-made MLRS (Smerch) and Hurricane 9K57 launchers capable of firing scores of 220-mm rockets to a distance of 70 kilometers.
The Prince needed to bring his rocket launcher through Turkey and Prime Minister Erdogen, who apparently leans toward the Muslim Brotherhood refused. That was a mistake:
Our sources report that Ankara’s initial refusal of cooperation was overcome with a sharp reminder by Prince Bandar of the scale of Turkish exports to Saudi Arabia and the damage to the Turkish economy of their potential suspension.
Oops! Not all players are created equal, are they?
If these missiles can be used to take the airport at Aleppo without killing a bunch of Russians, Assad’s days may be numbered. However, if they do kill a bunch of Russians, the Syrian war could get much uglier real fast.
This must be a dilemma for President Obama. Does he stand with his Saudi friends or with his Muslim Brotherhood friends?
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?