Rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters march a captured policeman who the FSA allege is a Shabiha or pro-regime militiaman, on July 31, 2012, as the rebels overran a police station in Aleppo. A watchdog said that rebels killed 40 officers and seized three police stations during the pivotal battle for the commercial capital. Editor’s note: this man may have been murdered after this image was taken. (Image credit: AFP PHOTO/EMIN OZMEN/SABAH PRESS)
Thanks to license given by the United States Treasury, the Washington-based Syrian Support Group, or SSG, can now accept donations on behalf of the armed opposition forces in Syria including the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
To make matters even worse for those who seek to maintain the manufactured “peaceful pro-democracy” image of the rebel forces, a video has now emerged showing the rebels carrying out what is almost certainly a war crime.
It is a truly disturbing scene, showing almost 40 seconds of non-stop gunfire and the slaughter of several men stripped down to their underwear and forced to their knees.
“What it looks like is execution of detainees and if that is the case, that would be a war crime,” Clive Baldwin, a senior legal adviser for Human Rights Watch, told the BBC.
Gennady Gatilov, the Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs also spoke out against the shooting, writing, “The brutal massacre of government supporters by the opposition in the city of Aleppo shows that human rights violations are being committed by both sides.”
Yet now the U.S. has opened up the channels to allow money to begin flowing into the coffers of these individuals who are very possibly guilty of terrorism and war crimes.
However, so long as the Western media continues to paint the rebels as freedom fighters as they did in Libya, there will almost certainly be continued blind support.
Obviously supporters of these terrorist groups are excited by this move, calling it a “game changer” in their long-standing effort to arm the rebels with the most deadly of modern weapons.
While the Treasury license doesn’t say that the SSG is allowed to outright purchase the weapons and give them to the opposition forces, they are allowed to supply these terrorists with “financial, communications, logistical and other services otherwise prohibited” by the American sanctions on Syria, according to the Daily Telegraph.
In other words, they can give them the money, set them up with the arms dealers and even give them the equipment to contact them, they just can’t “directly purchase weapons” for the rebels.
“This is a game-changer in terms of funding and a sign of a gradual policy shift by the US government,” stated Brain Sayers, the Director of Government Relations for the SSG.
“We are optimistic that it will help change the situation on the battlefield in a positive way for the FSA,” Sayers added, indicating that he recognizes the fact that this will allow weapons to be more easily placed in the hands of the terrorist FSA and their cronies.
Yet even this is not enough for Sayers and those like him who want nothing more than to see regime change in Syria.
“It’s not going to be sufficient – even if we raised $50 million for fantastic weaponry it’s not going to allow the FSA to defend a safe zone from Assad’s fighter aircraft,” he said.
Apparently another line of reasoning for supporting the terrorist FSA is that they are supposedly “secular” and thus U.S. support is being given “to counterbalance Islamist elements within the opposition, who are building large-scale fund-raising operations in Qatar and other Sunni Arab nations,” according to the Telegraph.
I was amazed to learn that this authorization from the treasury is not actually all that new since the Telegraph notes that it was in fact granted at some point in late July.
The SSG is refusing to reveal how much they have raised since being given the license, although it must file regular reports which document the funds they give to the opposition.
Unfortunately, like some other figures in the opposition, the SSG is not going to stop there. The SSG is also actively working to push the U.S. government to take military action in Syria through a no-fly zone as well as by “destroying Syria’s Russian-made air defence systems [see this article for information on these systems],” according to the Telegraph.
As we saw in Libya, this will only mean the death of innocent civilians and even greater turmoil in the already nightmarish Syria.
Thus far, the U.S. government has only publicly given $25 million of so-called “non-lethal aid” to the opposition, such as communications equipment.
Yet the State Department says that they have “no position” on individual Americans choosing to donate to the terrorists in Syria. I always find it interesting to see how terrorists quickly become legitimate rebels which Americans can openly support so long as it benefits the U.S. at the time.
It seems that the window of opportunity for a peaceful resolution is getting smaller and smaller with the resignation of Kofi Annan as the UN-Arab League envoy to Syria. That being said, British Foreign Secretary William Hague would not rule out the possibility of former Prime Minister Tony Blair replacing Annan.
Meanwhile, Abdelbasset Seida, current head of the so-called Syrian National Council, has expressed a willingness to talk with some regime officials. That is, after President Bashar al-Assad “and his gang” leave, of course.
In other words, their position hasn’t changed one iota.
“Bashar and his gang must leave and after that we will move to negotiate with other officials whose hands were not stained with Syrian blood and who were not involved in big corruption cases,” Seida said, reinforcing the opposition’s unwillingness to come to a peaceful, diplomatic solution.
Much like the foreign powers backing them, some of the opposition figures have now committed to nothing short of complete and total regime change with no room for discussion on that point whatsoever.
Personally, I think it is sad to see people so willing to watch their fellow countrymen be slaughtered and similarly willing to watch foreign powers manipulate their domestic situation for dubious ends. Apparently they are not able to look back at Libya and see how well that very similar situation turned out for them.
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