Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Syria's Assad Says the West Will Pay a Price For Supporting Al Qaeda in the Syrian Conflict

I'm not sure if Syria's Assad is conceding that he will lose the battle in Syria and then the West will pay the price by the jihadis on the rebel side coming to power or if he means that since the West is supporting the rebels and Assad will survive - that he will team up with Hezbollah and Iran to do us all in.

Either way he's a clown who can't even win a damn war against a bunch of Toyota bed troops.

The story comes from The Telegraph.



West will pay for 'supporting al-Qaeda in Syria', Assad warns


A bullish Mr Assad sought to exploit the West's embarrassment over the fractured opposition to his rule.

"The West has paid heavily for funding al-Qaeda in its early stages," he said during a rare appearance on state television. "Today, it is doing the same in Syria, Libya and other places, and will pay a heavy price in the heart of Europe and the United States."

Mr Assad was attempting to draw a parallel between American support for the mujaheddin in Afghanistan in the 1980s and the de facto alliance that has emerged between Western-backed rebels in Syria and hardline Islamists.

Mr Assad added: "There is no option but victory. Otherwise it will be the end of Syria, and I don't think that the Syrian people will accept such an option.

"The truth is there is a war and I repeat: no to surrender, no to submission."

Mr Assad's words suggested that he has been buoyed by last week's announcement by Jabhat al-Nusra, one of the most powerful rebel groups, that it owed allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahiri, the head of al-Qaeda. Jabhat al-Nusra has been blacklisted as a terrorist group by the United States, but is still fighting alongside – and sharing weapons with – rebel factions supported by the West.

Mr Assad also criticised his neighbours for backing the uprising. Jordan has recently allowed a substantial quantity of arms – apparently bought by Saudi Arabia – to cross its border into Syria. "I cannot believe that hundreds (of rebels) are entering Syria with their weapons while Jordan is capable of arresting any single person with a light arm for going to resist in Palestine," said Mr Assad in the interview, which marked the anniversary of Syria's independence from France.

In response to the increased tensions between the two, America is sending 200 more troops to Jordan to bolster its defences, a Jordanian minister announced. US and other special forces are already believed to be based in the country.

Mr Assad's forces have recently managed to recapture territory from the rebels. Last weekend, they broke the siege on two army bases located south of Aleppo. Hamadiya and Wadi Deif, which sit on the vital highway linking Damascus with Aleppo, had been largely cut off for five months. But the army successfully ambushed rebels near the road, killing at least 20 in a major reversal of fortune.

The insurgents are now tyring to regain control of the highway, fearing that Mr Assad would otherwise be able to resupply his beleaguered battalions in Aleppo.

The rebels have been able to take a number of military bases and towns in northern Syria, but have not managed to muster the resources for a major push southwards towards Damascus. Instead, they have been fighting on new fronts in the south, between the capital and the Jordanian border, but with only mixed results.

With no end to the war in sight and a rising number of casualties, the United Nations issued an urgent appeal this week for outside powers to halt the fighting. The widely reported figure of 70,000 dead is probably an underestimate, according to aid workers.

The western-backed "Friends of Syria" group is due to meet again in Turkey this weekend, with John Kerry, the new US Secretary of State, attending.

But its stated position opposing Mr Assad's regime means that other key players – like Russia and China – refuse to take part. They continue to block any UN action against Mr Assad. They argue the West should be putting pressure on the opposition to negotiate with the regime without preconditions.

But the rebels say they will not deal directly with Mr Assad.

"Right now, we see this process is making a negative contribution," said Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, while on a visit to Istanbul. "When one party is isolated in any mechanism set up to deal with a conflict, we miss the ground for dialogue."

Despite Russia's concerns, however, Britain and France both favour a fundamental review of the European Union arms embargo on Syria when it comes up for consideration next month.

2 comments:

Findalis said...

Not as big of a price that he will pay if the rebels win.

He will be a head shorter, we will just have to deal with the aftermath of al Qaeda attacking Israel and Israel kicking their asses.

Anonymous said...

I think he's more clever than Qaddafi. If the rebels do win then perhaps a cushy exile in Teheran might be his next destination. Or a nice Dacha in Moscow. I think Qaddafi's gruesome end and Mubarak's showtrial at the hands of Islamist Commissars have opened the eyes of several Arab Dictators that they shouldn't take their and their families' safety for granted and that perhaps exile is a more dignified exit than getting a stick up your butt. I think Abdullah Saleh learned that lesson quite well and hightailed it.