Recent developments surrounding support for the Syrian rebel movement mean the world is closer to seeing a puppet government installed in Syria.
In an article in ‘The Independent’ newspaper (11th December 2012), the newspaper claims that a plan to provide the rebels with military training and air and naval support has been drawn up by an international coalition.
The UK hosted a confidential meeting a few weeks ago attended by military chiefs from France, Turkey, Jordan, Qatar, UAE, and the United States during which the support strategy for the rebels was discussed.
The rebel’s foreign backers believe that the 22 month long civil war has reached a tipping point and it is imperative to offer the rebels to enable them to make a ‘final push’ against the current regime, the newspaper claims.
Training camps would be based in Turkey because Britain, France and the US have agreed not to place their own military inside Syria. However, the plan to support the rebels with air and sea forces would be controversial and could be seen as the West assisting in a regime change by force – without the backing of the UN.
‘The Independent’ reports that support for the rebels comes at a time when the rebel factions have organised themselves as a political group with a defined command structure.
Concerns have been raised about the rebel’s involvement in atrocities inside Syria, with sources claiming that illegal brutality (including torture) is being used to control the Syrian population, who are mostly opposed to the rebels.
The latest claim of brutality by rebel forces claims that a child was forced to behead a prisoner. However, such reports have not been addressed by the rebel movement’s foreign supporters who have been secretly supplying the rebels with weapons.
Obama authorised the covert support of the rebels by the CIA earlier this year, including placing Special Forces and intelligence officers inside Syria – a contradiction of the US official position of not placing military personnel inside the country’s borders.
Hilary Clinton called for a re-shaping of the rebel leadership, which led to the US approved National Coalition for Syrian Recovery and Opposition Forces.