The American Bear

Sunshine/Lollipops

Syria crisis: European countries expected to start arming rebels | The Guardian

Some European countries are expected to break with Washington and start supplying the Syrian rebels with weapons in the next few months, the representative of the Syrian opposition in Britain has told the Guardian.

The National Coalition’s London representative, Walid Saffour, predicted that by the next meeting of the western and Arab Friends of Syria group in Turkey, due in late spring or early summer, “there will be a breakthrough that will end the restrictions of the European countries”.

The art of war, with a glass of wine | Pepe Escobar

… Now [Bernard-Henri Levy] is busy reminding new French President Francois Hollande whether “France will do for Houla and Homs what it did for Benghazi and Misrata”. Well, the coalition of the willing is already in place; France, Britain, the US, Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council-controlled Arab League. They call themselves “Friends of Syria” and will be deciding their next regime change steps in Paris in early July.

BHL concedes, “to save the euro is an imperious obligation”, but the Greek drama may not prevent Hollande from making a phone call, just like BHL did with his predecessor King Sarko, and convince Russia and China that Syria’s state terror is history. BHL, of course, would not recognize Israeli state terror against Palestinians even if he were about to be smashed by an IDF tank. Anyway, if Hollande stalls, BHL will target David of Arabia Cameron. …

mohandasgandhi:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, at the “Friends of Syria” conference in Istanbul on Sunday. Foreign ministers from 60 countries were in attendance. 
U.S. Joins Effort to Equip and Pay Rebels in Syria

The United States and dozens of other countries moved closer on Sunday to direct intervention in the fighting in Syria, with Arab nations pledging $100 million to pay opposition fighters and the Obama administration agreeing to send communications equipment to help rebels organize and evade Syria’s military, according to participants gathered here.
The moves reflected a growing consensus, at least among the officials who met here this weekend under the rubric “Friends of Syria,” that mediation efforts by the United Nations peace envoy, Kofi Annan, were failing to halt the violence that is heading into its second year in Syria and that more forceful action was needed.
With Russia and China blocking United Nations measures that could open the way for military action, the countries lined up against the government of President Bashar al-Assad sought to bolster Syria’s beleaguered opposition through means that seemed to stretch the definition of humanitarian assistance and blur the line between so-called lethal and nonlethal support.
There remains no agreement on arming the rebels, as countries like Saudi Arabia and some members of Congress have called for, largely because of the uncertainty regarding who exactly would receive the arms.
Still, the offer to provide salaries and communications equipment to rebel fighters known as the Free Syrian Army — with the hopes that the money might encourage government soldiers to defect, officials said — is bringing the loose Friends of Syria coalition to the edge of a proxy war against Mr. Assad’s government and its international supporters, principally Iran and Russia.
The assistance to the rebel fighters as Mr. Assad’s loyalists press on with a brutal crackdown could worsen a conflict that has already led to at least 9,000 deaths and is increasingly showing signs of descending into a sectarian civil war. Some say that enabling the uprising to succeed is now the best bet to end the instability and carnage sooner.
(Continue reading…)

mohandasgandhi:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, at the “Friends of Syria” conference in Istanbul on Sunday. Foreign ministers from 60 countries were in attendance.

U.S. Joins Effort to Equip and Pay Rebels in Syria

The United States and dozens of other countries moved closer on Sunday to direct intervention in the fighting in Syria, with Arab nations pledging $100 million to pay opposition fighters and the Obama administration agreeing to send communications equipment to help rebels organize and evade Syria’s military, according to participants gathered here.

The moves reflected a growing consensus, at least among the officials who met here this weekend under the rubric “Friends of Syria,” that mediation efforts by the United Nations peace envoy, Kofi Annan, were failing to halt the violence that is heading into its second year in Syria and that more forceful action was needed.

With Russia and China blocking United Nations measures that could open the way for military action, the countries lined up against the government of President Bashar al-Assad sought to bolster Syria’s beleaguered opposition through means that seemed to stretch the definition of humanitarian assistance and blur the line between so-called lethal and nonlethal support.

There remains no agreement on arming the rebels, as countries like Saudi Arabia and some members of Congress have called for, largely because of the uncertainty regarding who exactly would receive the arms.

Still, the offer to provide salaries and communications equipment to rebel fighters known as the Free Syrian Army — with the hopes that the money might encourage government soldiers to defect, officials said — is bringing the loose Friends of Syria coalition to the edge of a proxy war against Mr. Assad’s government and its international supporters, principally Iran and Russia.

The assistance to the rebel fighters as Mr. Assad’s loyalists press on with a brutal crackdown could worsen a conflict that has already led to at least 9,000 deaths and is increasingly showing signs of descending into a sectarian civil war. Some say that enabling the uprising to succeed is now the best bet to end the instability and carnage sooner.

(Continue reading…)