In an earlier Blog entitled “al-Qaeda in Syria“, I described how western apathy is stoking the fires of extremism in Syria. The very same reason that are inducing a sectarian war used by western diplomats to justify not arming the Free Syrian Army is exactly what is happening BECAUSE of that policy.
A story published by USA Today cites US military commanders claiming a noticeable increase of the use of IED’s in Syria. Between December and January, the increase was recorded at 134%. The exact number is classified.
“If they can sustain this trend, that indicates some external support,” Army Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, commander of the Pentagon’s lead organization to combat improvised explosives told USA Today.
Consider what this means: Because the west still refuses to equip the Free Syrian Army (Using Gulf money) to combat the Assad terror, the vacuum is being filled by either al-Qaeda or one of their deformities. It also could be Syria or Iran detonating their own IED’s to confuse further Intelligence Director Clapper (He is the one who said the Muslim Brotherhood is a secular organiazation). US diplomats will surely be busy negotiating with so many parties on so many different fronts. Who said the end of turmoil serves all interests?
The Pentagon has the experience of monitoring and detonating IED’s and the Damascus/Tehran + al-Qaeda axis has the experience of planting them.
If al-Qaeda is behind these IED’s, the learning curve on this reversal of roles will be rather steep for the Assad regime, which means the IED’s (i.e. the extremists) will win this battle. I doubt if the Pentagon will help stop these IED’s for fear it is delivering intelligence to the very same organizations who plant them in Afghanistan (i.e. Quds Forces or the Syrian Air Intelligence).
But if Assad and Iran are behind these IED’s, then my hope is Clapper does not fall for the same ruse again.
The longer we wait to help the Free Syrian Army with real weapons and materials, the more damaging the results will be for all concerned.