Great Game Syria

Hopefully better sense will prevail but the US cruise missile strikes may still take place, which will have adverse economic consequences for India besides affecting Indian Diaspora in the region

By Lt General P.C. Katoch (Retd) September 5, 2013
Lt Gen (Retd) PC Katoch

As this article is being penned, a punitive US strike against Syria in coming days appears likely with the recent US-Israel joint missile test in the Mediterranean and John Kerry putting forth his arguments to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee that not striking Syria will undermine the US credibility, endanger Israel and that the US aim is not war but degrading military potential of Syria. On the vital question of who released Sarin Gas on the hapless Syrian public, John Kerry responded establishing that this is outside the UN mandate but the US had proof that the Syrian regime was responsible. The US efforts to obtain UN sanction for intervention have been unsuccessful with Russia and China opposing it. Also, the British Parliament has voted against British participation in any strike. Obama is to seek sanction of the US Congress next week, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee having agreed on a draft resolution of a 60-day limit on military action with a possible 30-day extension but without using ground troops. The resolution may easily sail through the Senate but Democrats are likely to challenge it in the House.

Meanwhile, UN General Secretary Ban ki Moon has said that the US must seek United Nations Security Council (UNSC) approval and concurrently Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned against unilateral US action in Syria calling the US charge against President Assad of Syria having used chemical weapons “utterly absurd”. According to a report circulating on the web, Prince Bandar-bin-Sultan of Saudi Arabia during his recent visit to Russia pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord. Concurrently, London’s The Telegraph News Service reported that Saudi Arabia has secretly offered Russia a sweeping deal to control the global oil market and safeguard Russia’s gas contracts, if Kremlin backs away from the Assad regime in Syria, an offer Putin turned down. More significant is a report by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) that Britain Defence, one of the largest private mercenary forces in the world, was the target of a “massive hack” of its computer files by an “unknown state sponsored entity” this past January, who then released a number of critical e-mails between its top two executives, founder Philip Doughty and his Business Development Director David Goulding, disclosing that the Barack Obama regime has approved a “false flag” attack in Syria using chemical weapons, and that Britain has been approved to participate in the West’s war on Iran. An e-mail from Goulding reads, “Phil, We’ve got a new offer. It’s about Syria again. Qataris proposes an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington. We’ll have to deliver a chemical weapon (CW) to Homs (Syria), a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya similar to those that Assad should have. They want us to deploy our Ukrainian personnel that should speak Russian and make a video record. Frankly, I don’t think it’s a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous.”

There is much in the news about Syrian rebel al-Nusra being in possession of Sarin Gas and Russia seeking explanation from Turkey but who supplied the Sarin may be difficult to establish without an international commission with all the prevailing subterfuge. Besides, apprehensions are natural after the US presented false evidence of nuclear weapons as excuse to invade Iraq. Then are many reports in the US media that US has been using Al-Qaeda to assist the rebels in Syria. Paul Joseph Watson in his article “Whether America Shares Its Values with Terrorists” wrote more than a year back that just as Al-Qaeda terrorists were used to oust Gaddafi, hundreds of Libyan rebels with Al-Qaeda willing members were being airlifted into Syria to aid opposition in carrying out attacks against government forces. So can the West really absolve itself completely of complicity in the over 1,00,000 civil casualties in Syria?

The game is not only about the Shia-Sunni strife but multiple factions fighting, and above all control of oil, the next likely target of the US being Iran. As far back as March 2007, General Wesley Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) had disclosed that while bombing of Afghanistan had commenced in preparation of the US invasion, the US had already decided to take out seven countries starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and finishing off Iran.” Hopefully better sense will prevail but the US cruise missile strikes (in conjunction with France) may still take place, which will have adverse economic consequences for India besides affecting Indian Diaspora in the region.

The views expressed herein are the personal views of the author.