Earlier this year, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad underlined that Tehran would maintain and reinvigorate its alliance with Syria under any kind of condition and would defend Damascus against any possible military aggression by the West.
A senior Iranian lawmaker cautioned the US to take Tehran’s tough warnings against a military intervention in Syria seriously, stressing that the Syrian people will not tolerate foreign interference in their country’s affairs.
“Iran’s warning against intervention in Syria’s affairs is serious and it is in the interest of the Americans to avoid meddling in Islamic states’ affairs,” Vice-Chairman of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Hossein Ebrahimi told FNA on Wednesday.
He added that Muslim states will not allow Washington to turn Syria into another Iraq for the sake of Israel’s interests.
The lawmaker also pointed to the Syrian people’s sensitivity about foreign meddling, and reiterated, “Americans do not know that the Syrian people will not tolerate Americans’ intervention even in the worst conditions.”
He further dismissed some recent claims about an upcoming regime collapse in Syria, stressing that Damascus is fully able to thwart US plots.
On Sunday, the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission reiterated Tehran’s continued and full support for Syria as a main pillar of resistance against the US and Zionist regime’s policies in the region.
Rapporteur of the Commission Kazzem Jalali said that members of his commission discussed the latest developments in connection to Syria, including the Arab League’s decision to suspend Syria from the bloc, during their meeting on Sunday.
Iran and Syria have always enjoyed a strong and strategic alliance ever since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Earlier this year, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad underlined that Tehran would maintain and reinvigorate its alliance with Syria under any kind of condition and would defend Damascus against any possible military aggression by the West.
According to the Lebanese daily Al-Diyar, Ahmadinejad’s decisive remarks were made during a meeting with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, in Tehran late in August.
The report said that Sheikh Hamad was conveying a message from the US to President Ahmadinejad calling on Iran to abandon support for Bashar al-Assad’s government.
The daily said that the meeting by the Qatari Emir has failed to yield his desirable result since President Ahmadinejad strongly emphasized that “any Western aggression against Syria would make every Muslim to stand beside Syria”.
“That would be the action Iran will take,” the daily quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.
The League of Arab States (Arab League) suspended the membership of Syria in the organization on November 12 as it had with Libya on February 22 of this year. In the case of Libya, whose membership was reinstated after NATO bombed proxy forces into power in late August, reports at the time indicated that member states Algeria and Syria had been opposed to the action but folded under pressure for a consensus from the eight Arab states governed by royal families – Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which to all intents and purposes now are the Arab League, with the other formal members either victims of recent regime change of one sort or another or likely targets for such a fate.
With the replication of the February move this past weekend, Algeria, Lebanon and Yemen voted against the suspension of Syria and Iraq abstained through some combination of principled opposition and self-interest, as the four may well be the next nations to be suspended by the monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) and Jordan and Morocco (the latter two having recently applied for membership though not in the Persian Gulf, Morocco bordering the Atlantic Ocean) should the U.S.-NATO-Arab monarchs entente demand it.
Washington is pressuring Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign as he being shown the door courtesy of a plan devised by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), as well as demanding the same of Syrian President Bashar Assad. The GCC deployed troops to Bahrain in March, in that instance to prop up the government, that of the Al Khalifa dynasty.
Qatar and the United Arab Emirates supplied NATO with warplanes and the Transitional National Council with weapons and special forces personnel for the almost 230-day blockade and bombardment of Libya, and Jordan and Morocco joined the two Gulf states at the Paris summit on March 19 that launched the war against Libya.
The four Arab nations are both close bilateral military allies of the Pentagon and members of NATO partnership programs, the Mediterranean Dialogue in the case of Jordan and Morocco, the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Jordan and the UAE are to date the only official Arabic Troop Contributing Nations for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
On October 31, eleven days after the murder of former Libyan head of state Muammar Gaddafi, NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen flew into Tripoli and offered the services of the world’s only military bloc in reconstituting the battered nation’s military and internal security forces as NATO is doing in Iraq and Afghanistan with the NATO Training Mission-Iraq and the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan. Rebuilding, transforming and modernizing the armed forces of Libya, as with those of the other two countries, to achieve NATO standards and interoperability.
A week later Ivo Daalder, long-time proponent and architect of Global NATO , now empowered to put his plans into effect as the Obama administration’s ambassador to the military alliance, offered the inevitable complement to Rasmussen’s offer in reiterating that “NATO is prepared, if requested by the new Libyan authorities, to consider ways in which it could help the Libyan authorities, particularly in the area of defense and security reform.”
According to the same Agence France-Presse account, “Daalder also said Libya could bolster its ties with the transatlantic alliance by joining NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue, a partnership comprising Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, Jordan and Israel.” (The new regimes in Egypt and Tunisia are fully honoring previous military commitments to the U.S. and NATO.)
The exact scenario that a Stop NATO article warned about on March 25, six days after U.S. Africa Command launched Operation Odyssey Dawn and the beginning of the over seven-month-long war against Libya:
“If the current Libyan model is duplicated in Syria as increasingly seems to be the case, and with Lebanon already blockaded by warships from NATO nations since 2006 in what is the prototype for what NATO will soon replicate off the coast of Libya, the Mediterranean Sea will be entirely under the control of NATO and its leading member, the U.S.
“Cyprus in the only European Union member and indeed the only European nation (except for microstates) that is – for the time being – not a NATO member or partner, and Libya is the only African nation bordering the Mediterranean not a member of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue partnership program.”
If indeed Syria becomes the next Libya and a new Yemeni regime is installed under the control of the Gulf Cooperation Council, then the only nations remaining in the vast stretch of territory known as the Broader or Greater Middle East, from Mauritania on the Atlantic coast to Kazakhstan on the Chinese and Russian borders, not tied to NATO through multinational and bilateral partnerships will be Lebanon (see above), Eritrea, Iran and Sudan.
Djibouti hosts thousands of troops from the U.S. and other NATO member states. NATO has airlifted several thousand Ugandan and Burundian troops for the proxy war in the capital of Somalia as well as establishing a beachhead in the semi-autonomous/autonomous Puntland region of the country for its Operation Ocean Shield naval deployment in the Gulf of Aden. The six GCC states are included in NATO’s Istanbul Cooperation Initiative and the former Soviet republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are members of the Partnership for Peace, the program employed to graduate twelve Eastern European countries to full NATO membership from 1999-2009. Armenia, Azerbaijan and Armenia also have NATO Individual Partnership Action Plans and Georgia a special Annual Program as well as an Alliance liaison in its capital (NATO Contact Point Embassy.) In 2006 Kazakhstan became the first non-European nation to be granted an Individual Partnership Action Plan.
NATO also has a liaison office in Ethiopia which assists in the development of the eastern component of the African Standby Force, modeled after the global NATO Response Force.
With the partnerships in the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Persian Gulf connecting with those in Central and South Asia (NATO has troops stationed on bases in Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) and beyond that with India and the ten-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations, linking up with the military bloc’s Contact Country partners Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea, the U.S. and its major Western allies are tightening a NATO band, an armed phalanx, along the entire Northern Hemisphere. An American-led military axis from, in language Western leaders have used throughout the post-Cold War era, Vancouver to Vladivostok (proceeding eastward).
Three years ago Malta rejoined the Partnership for Peace, thereby adding to bases in Sardinia, Sicily, and Crete NATO, and bases in Cyprus Britain, can use as fighter jet, supply, refueling, arms storage and docking jumping-off points for military aggression in Africa and the Middle East.
Lebanon, Syria, Cyprus and Libya are the only Mediterranean countries that are not currently NATO members or partners and the U.S. and its fellow NATO members have designs on all four. Libya’s joining the Mediterranean Dialogue will complete Alliance partnerships across North Africa from Egypt to Morocco and will entail its Western-rebuilt navy being recruited into NATO’s Operation Active Endeavor maritime surveillance and interdiction activities across the length and breadth of the Mediterranean Sea, an operation now in its eleventh year.
The government of Syria is not only Iran’s main but it’s only reliable ally among state actors in the Arab world. The Syrian port city of Tartus hosts Russia’s only naval base in the Mediterranean. Regime change in Damascus, however it’s effected, will oust the Russian and Iranian navies from the sea by eliminating the only friendly docking facilities.
The consequences of the installation of a pro-Western government in Syria would also affect neighboring Lebanon, where Israel and its Western patrons would have a free hand to attack Hezbollah and Communist Party militias in the south of the nation and along with efforts by the U.S. to buy off the state’s military over the past five years eliminate all opposition to Western control of the country, military and political.
Palestine would not fare any better. In August Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told visiting American congressmen that “the security of the future Palestinian state will be handed to NATO under US command,” according to an aide cited by the Ma’an News Agency.
He may well see NATO and U.S. troops stationed on his nation’s soil, but not on the terms he intends.
Nothing occurs in isolation and surely not in the age of Western powers employing expressions like the world’s sole military superpower and Global NATO and forging ahead with projects for their realization. Syria is no exception.
Placard-Waving Protesters are actually Machine Gun-Wielding Terrorists
The “Free Syria Army” is literally an army of militant extremists, many drawn not from Syria’s military ranks, but from the Muslim Brotherhood, carrying heavy weapons back and forth over the Turkish and Lebanese borders; funded, supported, and armed by the United States, Israel, and Turkey.
The latest evidence confirming this comes in the form of a report out of the International Institute for Strategic Studieswhere Senior Fellow for Regional Security at IISS-Middle East Emile Hokayem openly admits Syria’s opposition is armed and prepared to drag Syria’s violence into even bloodier depths.
This report comes in sharp contrast to the propaganda fed via the corporate-media and the West’s foreign ministers on a daily basis, where the violence is portrayed as one-sided, with Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad “gunning down” throngs of peaceful, placard waving protesters.
Just as in Libya where these so-called “peaceful protesters” turned out to be hordes of genocidal racist Al Qaeda mercenaries, led by big-oil representatives, fighting their cause upon a verified pack of lies, so too is Syria’s “pro-democracy” movement which is slowly being revealed as yet another militant brand of extremists long cultivated by Anglo-American intelligence agencies, whose leadership is harbored in London and Washington and their foot soldiers supplied a steady stream of covert military support and overt rhetorical support throughout the compromised corporate media.
The unrest in Syria from the beginning was entirely backed by Western corporate-financier interests and part of a long-planned agenda for region-wide regime change. Syria has been slated for regime change since as early as 1991. In 2002, then US Under Secretary of State John Bolton added Syria to the growing “Axis of Evil.” It would be later revealed that Bolton’s threats against Syria manifested themselves as covert funding and support for opposition groups inside of Syria spanning both the Bush and Obama administrations.
In an April 2011 CNN article, acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner stated, “We’re not working to undermine that [Syrian] government. What we are trying to do in Syria, through our civil society support, is to build the kind of democratic institutions, frankly, that we’re trying to do in countries around the globe. What’s different, I think, in this situation is that the Syrian government perceives this kind of assistance as a threat to its control over the Syrian people.”
Toner’s remarks came after the Washington Post released cables indicating the US has been funding Syrian opposition groups since at least 2005 and continues until today.
In an April AFP report, Michael Posner, the assistant US Secretary of State for Human Rights and Labor, stated that the “US government has budgeted $50 million in the last two years to develop new technologies to help activists protect themselves from arrest and prosecution by authoritarian governments.” The report went on to explain that the US “organized training sessions for 5,000 activists in different parts of the world. A session held in the Middle East about six weeks ago gathered activists from Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon who returned to their countries with the aim of training their colleagues there.” Posner would add, “They went back and there’s a ripple effect.” That ripple effect of course is the “Arab Spring,” and in Syria’s case, the impetus for the current unrest threatening to unhinge the nation and invite in foreign intervention.
With planted “speculation” running through the corporate media that a recent explosion, amongst several other “incidents” in Iran, were the work of Western covert operations, and the Jerusalem Post all but admitting the entire Western-backed destabilization in Syria aims not at ushering in “democracy” or upholding “human rights,” but to weaken Iran by proxy, it is clear that everything within Wall Street and London’s power is being done to provoke Iran. Iran has downplayed the recent explosion at their military base as an accident and has thus far maintained a persistent patience in the face of criminal provocations and overt acts of war by an alarmingly and increasingly depraved West.
It is quite clear that the stratagems spelled out in the corporate-funded Brookings Institute report “Which Path to Persia?” have been read and understood by both sides and that Iran realizes that any act of retaliation not expertly played, only gives the West what it has stated it wants — an excuse to go to war with the Islamic Republic.
Should the public in Syria, Iran, and throughout the West also read “Which Path to Persia?” and realize that the only threat Iran and its allies pose to the West is toward the extraterritorial ambitions of Wall Street and London, perhaps a bloody, entirely unnecessary war can be avoided, and the first steps taken toward dismantling the parasitic corporate-financier oligarchy that has misled the world for the past several decades.
Syria incurred more European sanctions and criticism from Turkey and Jordan on Monday after a surprise Arab League decision to suspend it for failing to halt months of violence aimed at crushing opposition to President Bashar al-Assad.
Syria looks ever more isolated, but still has the support of Russia, which said the Arab League had made the wrong move and accused the West of inciting Assad’s opponents.
Despite the diplomatic pressure, there was no let-up in violence and at least two people were killed, activists said.
The anti-Assad unrest, inspired by Arab revolts elsewhere, has devastated Syria’s economy, scaring off tourists and investors, while Western sanctions have crippled oil exports.
Jordan’s King Abdullah said Assad should quit. “I believe, if I were in his shoes, I would step down,” he told the BBC.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moualem said the League’s decision, due to take effect Wednesday, was “an extremely dangerous step” at a time when Damascus was implementing an Arab deal to end violence and start talks with the opposition.
Syria has called for an emergency Arab League summit in an apparent effort to forestall its suspension.
The Cairo-based League plans to meet Syrian dissident groups Tuesday, but its secretary-general, Nabil Elaraby, said on Sunday it was too soon to consider recognising the Syrian opposition as the country’s legitimate authority.
Elaraby met representatives of Arab civil society groups on Monday and agreed to send a 500-strong fact-finding committee, including military personnel, to Syria as part of efforts to end the crackdown on demonstrators and dissenters.
“Syria agreed to receive the committee,” said Ibrahim al-Zafarani, of the Arab Medical Union.
Moualem said Syria had withdrawn troops from urban areas, released prisoners and offered an amnesty to armed insurgents under an initiative agreed with the Arab League two weeks ago.
Yet violence has intensified since then, especially in the central city of Homs, pushing the death toll in eight months of protests to more than 3,500 by a U.N. count. Damascus says armed “terrorist” gangs have killed 1,100 soldiers and police.
SHOOTING, TANK FIRE
In the latest violence, security police shot dead activist Amin Abdo al-Ghothani in front of his nine-year-old son at a roadblock outside the town of Inkhil, a grassroots organisation known as the Local Coordination Committees said.
In Homs, residents said renewed tank shelling killed a teen-ager and wounded eight people in the restive Bab Amro district. Students in the Damascus suburb of Erbin chanted “God is greater than the oppressor,” according to a YouTube video.
Moualem described Washington’s support for the Arab League action as “incitement,” but voiced confidence that Russia and China would continue to block Western efforts to secure U.N. Security Council action, let alone any foreign intervention.
“The Libya scenario will not be repeated,” he said.
It was the Arab League’s decision to suspend Libya and call for a no-fly zone that helped persuade the U.N. Security Council to authorise a NATO air campaign to protect civilians, which also aided rebels who ousted and killed Muammar Gaddafi.
The Arab League made no call for military action, but its disciplining of Syria is deeply embarrassing to a nation touted by its Baathist leaders as the Arab world’s “beating heart.”
Syrian state television said millions of Syrians protested at the League decision in Damascus and other cities Sunday.
Crowds also attacked Saudi, Turkish and French diplomatic missions in Syria after the Arab League announcement.
Moualem apologised for the assaults, which have worsened already tense ties between Syria and its former friend Turkey.
“We will take the most resolute stance against these attacks and we will stand by the Syrian people’s rightful struggle,” Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told the Turkish parliament, saying Damascus could no longer be trusted.
Non-Arab Turkey, after long courting Assad, has lost patience with its neighbour. It now hosts the main Syrian opposition and has given refuge to defecting Syrian soldiers.
Turkey’s stance has stung its former friends in Damascus.
“The implementation of the Arab plan must be accompanied by the securing of borders by neighboring countries,” Moualem Said. “I mean here specifically the flow of weapons from Turkey and the transfer of money to the leaders of armed groups.”
The European Union extended penalties to 18 more Syrians linked with the crackdown on dissent and approved plans to stop Syria accessing funds from the European Investment Bank.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she was in touch with the Arab League to work on an approach to Syria, but the 27-nation body appears set against military intervention.
“This is a different situation from Libya,” British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in Brussels, where EU foreign ministers were meeting. “There is no United Nations Security Council resolution and Syria is a much more complex situation.”
Syria, which borders Israel, is Iran’s main Arab ally and has strong ties with Shi’ite Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon and the Islamist Hamas movement that rules the Gaza Strip.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, whose country joined China to block a U.N. resolution critical of Syria in October, criticised the Arab League’s decision.
Russia, an arms supplier to the Syrians, has urged Assad to implement reforms but opposes sanctions and has accused the United States and France of discouraging dialogue in Syria.
“There has been and continues to be incitement of radical opponents (of Assad) to take a firm course for regime change and reject any invitations to dialogue,” Lavrov said.
The Arab League also plans to impose unspecified economic and political sanctions on Syria and has urged its members to recall their ambassadors from Damascus.
Assad still has some support at home, especially from his own minority Alawite sect and Christians, wary of sectarian conflict or Sunni Muslim domination if he were to be toppled.
Despite some defections, the Syrian military has not emulated its counterparts in Egypt and Tunisia in abandoning long-serving presidents faced with popular discontent.
The government has acknowledged that sanctions are hurting, but it is not clear whether this will force any policy change.
Chris Phillips of the Economist Intelligence Unit in London said Syria’s economy was “slowly bleeding to death.”