In what many security experts consider paradoxical, President Barack Obama is close to ordering weapons shipments to be sent to the al-Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels as a consequence of President Bashar al-Assad alleged use of chemical weapons against rebel forces, according to a counterterrorism source on Thursday.
“This is a development that is at once startling and comical,” said former military intelligence officer and police terrorism analyst Steve Moseret. “In fact, in the Middle East news media they are already reporting that Obama has okayed the transfer of weapons to the Syrian rebels.
“We [Americans] are at war with al-Qaeda and yet in order to help topple another Middle East dictator, the Obama administration is seriously considering arming al-Qaeda affiliates such as al-Qaeda in Iraq, al-Nusra Front and other Islamist groups who advocate an Islamic caliphate and the destruction of the United States and Israel,” notes Moseret.
According to Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting Ben Rhodes, President Obama often stated that any use by the Syrian regime of chemical weapons is the “red line” that could lead to more U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war.
“The President has been clear that the use of chemical weapons – or the transfer of chemical weapons to terrorist groups – is a red line for the United States,” said Rhodes in a press statement.
“President [Obama] has said that the use of chemical weapons would change his calculus, and it has,” he said in his written statement.
“Any future action we take will be consistent with our national interest, and must advance our objectives, which include achieving a negotiated political settlement to establish an authority that can provide basic stability and administer state institutions; protecting the rights of all Syrians; securing unconventional and advanced conventional weapons; and countering terrorist activity,” Rhodes said.
However, in a June 3 Examiner news story, it was reported that:
“Israeli intelligence reported that Syrian army troops discovered two large canisters of the deadly WMD (weapon of mass destruction) sarin gas during an ambush of a rebel compound in the city of Hama on Sunday,” according to a counterterrorism and international law enforcement expert.
According to Sean McCallister, a former police intelligence analyst, despite the Obama Administration, lawmakers such as Sen. John McCain, and many U.S. news organizations ignoring the “trespasses of the Islamist-infiltrated Syrian rebel militia,” those who are closely following events unfolding in Syria are concerned over the use of WMD by the rebels.
The Syrian government has repeatedly accused the Islamist rebels of using chemical weapons during their attacks on pro-Assad towns northern Syria, according to McCallister.
“The back-and-forth accusations have caused many to ignore several international reports. When [Sen. John] McCain visited some of the Syrian rebels, it was as if he was totally unaware that a large percentage of the fighters were from al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQII), al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Nusra and others,” McCallister noted.
Rhodes said that the President intends to share evidence of the use of chemical weapons by Assad’s troops “with the international community” and the American people.