U.S. and Turkey’s objectives in Syria appear to be diverging
THE stance of these two states is very strange,” Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki remarked in mid-2012, in reference to Qatar and Saudi Arabia. According to him, it was strange that these two countries were providing military, logistic and humanitarian support to the Syrian people in the face of Bashar Assad’s daily slaughter.
Al-Maliki then rolled up his sleeves in defiance, proclaiming: “It has been one year and the regime did not fall, and it will not fall and why should it fall?”
Now, in the wake of news reports that the Syrian fighters are being provided with weapons, most recently through an arms shipment from Croatia, the truth is that Al-Maliki’s stance is the one that is strange. He sits on the border with Syria and provides its regime with oil, fuel, and arms. He allows Iranian planes to pass through and provide Assad with anything he asks for. Al-Maliki has never renounced his support of a regime that is committing the gravest massacres of the 21st century, thus he is an accomplice to these crimes. All he has done is voice his surprise toward two states (Saudi Arabia and Qatar) that are seeking to help people who are being killed every day.
The equation in Syria is as follows: The Assad regime is armed to the teeth because of its military-security structure and because it is being openly supported by Iran, Russia, Iraq and Hezbollah. They provide Assad with funds, weapons, oil, fighters, intelligence, diplomatic data and propaganda. On the other hand, the oppressed Syrian people have so far received limited support because of closed borders, legal problems and political caveats. The opposition has armed some of its members, some of whom are army defectors, but the majority are mere citizens defending their neighborhoods. Now, after all the bloodshed, they are still insistent on overthrowing the regime.