While the United States continues to deny providing support to terrorists in Syria in terms of money, training, or weapons without the “rebels” first being “moderate,” the truth is that it has been proven time and time again that the US did indeed arm jihadists in Syria from the very beginning and even before the alleged “protests” began in 2011.
Even taking the admitted 2013 arming of terrorists out of the equation – the infamous initiative that took place after the Obama administration cooked up an accusation that the Syrian government used “chemical weapons” on civilians in Ghouta that year – the evidence is clear that the United States had been arming fighters before that time. This is clearly seen when anyone follows the trail of weapons that found their way into Syria early on.
For instance, one need only take a look at the article by C.J. Chivers, Eric Schmitt, and Mark Mazetti published in The New York Times in 2013 and entitled, “In Turnabout, Syria Rebels Get Libyan Weapons.” In this article, Chivers, Schmitt, and Mazetti attempt to portray a network of Syrian and Libyan militias cooperating with one another to loot Ghaddafi’s military stores in order to support one another in an ideological war against secular governments (but also somehow in the service of democracy). Qatar is fingered as one of the fall guys in the story as well.
However, what is also exposed, albeit unintentionally, is the fact that the United States itself was initiating and facilitating these transfers.
First, the writers paint the picture of an international network, admittedly financed by Qatar and facilitated by Turkey, between Libyan and Syrian militias that saw Libyan fighters shipping what weapons they “didn’t need” to their Syrian counterparts. The article reads,
Evidence gathered in Syria, along with flight-control data and interviews with militia members, smugglers, rebels, analysts and officials in several countries, offers a profile of a complex and active multinational effort, financed largely by Qatar, to transport arms from Libya to Syria’s opposition fighters. Libya’s own former fighters, who sympathize with Syria’s rebels, have been eager collaborators.
“It is just the enthusiasm of the Libyan people helping the Syrians,” said Fawzi Bukatef, the former leader of an alliance of Libyan brigades who was recently named ambassador to Uganda, in an interview in Tripoli.
As the United States and its Western allies move toward providing lethal aid to Syrian rebels, these secretive transfers give insight into an unregistered arms pipeline that is difficult to monitor or control. And while the system appears to succeed in moving arms across multiple borders and to select rebel groups, once inside Syria the flow branches out. Extremist fighters, some of them aligned with Al Qaeda, have the money to buy the newly arrived stock, and many rebels are willing to sell.
. . . . .
Those weapons, which slipped from state custody as Colonel Qaddafi’s people rose against him in 2011, are sent on ships or Qatar Emiri Air Force flights to a network of intelligence agencies and Syrian opposition leaders in Turkey. From there, Syrians distribute the arms according to their own formulas and preferences to particular fighting groups, which in turn issue them to their fighters on the ground, rebels and activists said.
Keep in mind that the “rebels” and “activists” being quoted are terrorists fighting against the Syrian government or having just defeated Ghaddafi’s. Even so, the fact that the militia weapon-sharing network was largely a concept of a Gulf State feudal monarchy is admitted.
The article continues,
Qatari C-17 cargo aircraft have made at least three stops in Libya this year — including flights from Mitiga airport in Tripoli on Jan. 15 and Feb. 1, and another that departed Benghazi on April 16, according to flight data provided by an aviation official in the region. The planes returned to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. The cargo was then flown to Ankara, Turkey, along with other weapons and equipment that the Qataris had been gathering for the rebels, officials and rebels said.
. . . . .
The movements from Libya complement the airlift that has variously used Saudi, Jordanian and Qatari military cargo planes to funnel military equipment and weapons, including from Croatia, to the outgunned rebels. On Friday, Syrian opposition officials said the rebels had received a new shipment of anti-tank weapons and other arms, although they give varying accounts of the sources of the recently received arms. The Central Intelligence Agency has already played at least a supporting role, the officials say.
. . . . .
One former senior Obama administration familiar with the transfers said the Qatari government built relationships with Libyan militias in 2011, when, according to the report of a United Nations Panel of Experts, it shipped in weapons to rebel forces there in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973.
As a result, the Qataris can draw on their influence with Libya’s militias to support their current beneficiaries in Syria. “It’s not that complicated,” the former official said. “We’re watching it. The Libyans have an amazing amount of stuff.”
Syrian activists and Western officials say that like the unregistered arms transfers organized by other Arab states, the shipments from Libya have been very large but have not kept up with the enormous rebel ammunition expenditures each day.
And most of the weapons have been relatively light, including rifles, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, small arms ammunition and mortar rounds.
But the Libyan influx appears to account for at least a portion of the antitank weapons seen in the conflict this spring, including Belgian-made projectiles for M40 recoilless rifles and some of the Russian-made Konkurs-M guided missiles that have been destroying Syrian tanks in recent months.
But the weapons taken from Ghaddafi’s stock were not enough. What was lacking in supply, however, was soon made up via direct American support. However, notice that the part of the report which states that the weapons transfers were conducted with the United States CIA playing “at least a supporting role.”
While so many rumors, accusations, and scandals surround the 2013 incident in Benghazi where a number of U.S. ambassadorial staff as well as Ambassador Chris Stevens were murdered by Islamic extremists, the question almost always arises “How much was known about Stevens’ mission of supporting terrorists in Syria and who knew it?”
While discussion of how Stevens was killed, how he was killed, or if anyone knew what was going to happen to Stevens is outside of the scope of this article, the question of whether or not it was known that Stevens was essentially working as a conduit between terrorists in Libya and those in Syria, as well as a facilitator of arms to those terrorists, is well worth mentioning. Indeed, it is important to note that documents obtained by Judicial Watch from the Department of Defense and Department of State reveal that the Obama administration as well as the State Department, i.e. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were all well aware of the fact that weapons were being shipped to terrorists in Syria via Benghazi, Libya.
One such document which was obtained from the Department of Defense, more specifically the Defense Intelligence Agency was dated October, 2012 and stated clearly that not only were weapons being shipped to Syria but that the shipments themselves were being monitored.
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Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s, and 125 mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.
During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the ((Qaddafi)) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amount of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo.
. . . . .
The weapons shipped from Syria during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s and 125mm and 155mm howitzers missiles. The numbers for each weapon were estimated to be: 500 Sniper rifles, 100 RPG launchers with 300 total rounds, and approximately 400 howitzers missiles [200 ea – 125mm and 200ea – 155 mm.]
While, in 2018, the documents may not be considered bombshell information, many alternative researchers and writers were condemned as tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists in 2012 for suggesting that the State Department and the Obama administration were complicit in and facilitating the arming of terrorists in Syria.
In addition, the documents are a direct contradiction to the testimony of a number of American officials, including Hillary Clinton herself, who claimed in sworn public testimony that the U.S. had no role in the arming and support of the Syrian “rebels” early on in the Syrian crisis.
For instance, Clinton herself claimed she had no knowledge of any such program when she was questioned by Senator Rand Paul at a Congressional hearing in 2013. The exchange went as follows:
RAND PAUL: It has been in news reports that ships have been leaving from Libya and they might have weapons. What I would like to know, is the annex that was close by [in Benghazi]. Were they involved with procuring, buying, selling, obtaining weapons, and were any of these weapons being transferred to other countries — to any countries, Turkey included.
HILLARY CLINTON: Senator, you’ll have to direct that question to the agency that ran the annex. I will see what information is available.
RAND PAUL: You’re saying you don’t know.
HILLARY CLINTON: I do not now. I don’t have any information on that.
Although the document did not specify that the United States was the responsible party regarding organizing the weapons shipments or that it had a direct role in facilitating them (the responsible party is redacted), it does make clear that the United States was aware of and monitoring these shipments. At the very least, this proves that Clinton’s testimony is false. At worst, it adds to the pile of evidence that the United States was not only a supporter but the architect of the Syrian crisis from day one.
In regards to Libya, it was well known and even criticized by Libyan officials that Clinton’s State Department was actively funneling weaponry to “rebels” with “ties to al-Qaeda.” Of course, the “rebels” actually were al-Qaeda as the Libyan “rebellion” itself was nothing more than the use of proxy forces by the United States and NATO whose ranks were made up of terrorists, jihadists, and mercenaries. As The Washington Times reported in February, 2015:
Libyan officials were deeply concerned in 2011, as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was trying to remove Moammar Gadhafi from power, that weapons were being funneled to NATO-backed rebels with ties to al Qaeda, fearing that well-armed insurgents could create a safe haven for terrorists, according to secret intelligence reports obtained by The Washington Times.
The reports included a 16-page list of weapons that Libyans supposedly tracked to the rebels from Western sources or their allies in the region. The memos were corroborated by a U.S. intelligence asset familiar with the documents as well as former top Gadhafi regime official Mohammed Ismael.
“NATO has given permission to a number of weapons-loaded aircraft to land at Benghazi airport and some Tunisian airports,” the intelligence report said, identifying masses of weapons including tanks and surface-to-air missiles.
That report, which was prepared in English so it could be passed by a U.S. intelligence asset to key members of Congress, identified specific air and sea shipments observed by Libyan intelligence moving weapons to the rebels trying to unseat the Gadhafi regime.
“There is a close link between al Qaeda, Jihadi organizations, and the opposition in Libya,” the report warned.
Elliot Jager of Newsmax also points out Clinton’s treachery in the funding and support of jihadists in Libya when he writes that Clinton was one of the principal officials who promoted the idea of supporting terrorists in the African country. Jager states,
Moammar Gadhafi, the Libyan dictator overthrown in 2011 by NATO-backed rebels, had provided important information that led to the killings of key al-Qaida operatives and disrupted planned terror attacks against U.S. interests, former Gadhafi aide Mohammed Ismael confirmed to The Washington Times.
Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton became the prime mover in the decision by the Obama administration to back anti-Gadhafi insurgents, The New York Times reported in 2011.
Clinton, along with Samantha Power, then at the National Security Council, and Susan Rice, the U.N. ambassador at the time, convinced Obama to back the rebels.
There is little doubt that the United States acted, at the very least, in a supportive role during the arming of al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria much earlier than it publicly stated. As was evidenced by the Benghazi scandal, however, the United States was already knowingly arming terrorists in Libya, the same terrorists who would then work with Ambassador Chris Stevens to ship excess weapons from Ghaddafi’s caches to Syria in order to overthrow the Assad government. With the U.S. arming al-Qaeda in Libya in the lead up to the Syrian war and arming al-Qaeda shortly after that war began, it would beggar belief that the U.S. was not arming al-Qaeda during the approximately one year in between.
Brandon Turbeville writes for Activist Post – article archive here – He is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President, and Resisting The Empire: The Plan To Destroy Syria And How The Future Of The World Depends On The Outcome. Turbeville has published over 1000 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.
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