Syria In Ruins

A man walks past a burnt car and damaged buildings along a street at the al-khalidiya neighbourhood of Homs

UPDATE1: April 5, 2013 Battle of Armageddon

UPDATE2: June 20, 2013 Syria’s Endgame: Prospects Dim, Options Narrow

UPDATE3: July 4, 2014 Obama vetoed British plan to create a 100,000 strong Free Syrian force in 2012

Had Obama intervened with a no fly zone or provided arms to the secular forces last year he could have cut off oxygen to the jihadists and the revolution would be over by now. Syria could have a transitional government favourable to the West and the hope of a friendly regime in the future. Instead, we have mass death, destruction, and the increasing influence of Islamists. A great historical opportunity has been missed to the detriment of the United States and the cost of tens of thousands of Syrian lives.

“The White House rejected the Clinton-Petraeus proposal over concerns it could draw the United States into the Syrian conflict and the arms could fall into the wrong hands, the Times said, citing unnamed Obama administration officials.”

White House rebuffed Clinton-Petraeus plan to arm Syrian rebels: report

“Pentagon leaders told Congress on Thursday that they had supported a recommendation to arm Syrian rebels promoted by the State Department and CIA but which President Barack Obama ultimately decided against.

Obama’s government has limited its support to non-lethal aid for the rebels who, despite receiving weapons from countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, are poorly armed compared to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army and loyalist militias.

Syria’s 22-month-long conflict has killed an estimated 60,000 people.

Senator John McCain, a Republican from Arizona, has championed greater U.S. involvement and chided the Obama administration at a hearing, asking Pentagon leaders: “How many more have to die before you recommend military action?” ”

Pentagon backed plan for U.S. to arm Syrian rebels

“Second, the lack of hope for an intervention by the West removed any impetus for maintaining a secular narrative. Many fighters who had pinned their hopes on NATO were greatly disappointed and angered that their suffering was ignored. It is not unusual for Syrian fighters to say something akin to, “What has the West done for us? We now have only God.”

When these ideological factors were combined with the infusion of money and arms that has been channeled to jihadist groups in Syria over the past year, the growth of Syrian jihadist groups accelerated dramatically. Not only are they a factor on the battlefield today, but they also will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.”

The Consequences of Intervening in Syria

“In a situation like Syria, I have to ask: can we make a difference in that situation?” Obama said in an interview with The New Republic published on the magazine’s website.

Obama said he has to weigh the benefit of a military intervention with the ability of the Pentagon to support troops still in Afghanistan, where the United States is withdrawing combat forces after a dozen years of war.

“Could it trigger even worse violence or the use of chemical weapons? What offers the best prospect of a stable post-Assad regime?”

Obama says struggling over whether to intervene in Syria

Jonathan Spyer: “The war-within-a-war in northeast Syria thus offers stark evidence of the extent to which ‘Syria,’ as a unified state, no longer really exists.”

Fighting Over Syria’s Ruins

Freedom For Syria

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