Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Syria Opposition Wins International Backing

The Syrian National Coalition—the new Syrian opposition umbrella group—recently won recognition from the more than 100 countries in the “Friends of the Syrian People” coalition, but –wary of their experience in Libya—Western countries still remain hesitant to provide arms.

Print Friendly

Al Jazeera via Inter Press Service

More than 100 countries have recognised a new Syrian opposition coalition, opening the way for greater assistance to the forces fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad, including possibly military aid.

Backing for the Syrian National Coalition, formed in Qatar in November, was given at an international conference of the “Friends of the Syrian People” in Morocco on Wednesday.

The opposition had been under intense international pressure to create a more organised and representative body to channel any aid extended by foreign countries.

While the coalition welcomed the move, the opposition said they were looking for more tangible political and financial backing and that they want members of Assad’s government to be brought to the International Criminal Court.

International recognition of the Libyan opposition gave it a huge boost in the battle against Muammar Gaddafi last year, and was later backed by Western air strikes.

Military intervention does not appear to be in the cards for Syria, where the government has the powerful backing of Russia, China and Iran.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the meeting in Marrakesh had made “extraordinary progress”.

He noted that the European Union is now renewing its weapons embargo on Syria every three months, rather than annually, to be more flexible as the situation on the ground changes.

“We want to have the ability to continue or to change our attitude on this point,” he said.

“The fact that the coalition, which is asking for the right to defend itself, is now being recognised by a hundred countries – yesterday the U.S. and first France – I think this is a very important point.”

Chemical warning

The conference’s final statement said Assad had lost all legitimacy but stopped short of calling for him to step down, something attending ministers did say individually.

The statement also warned that any use of chemical weapons “would draw a serious response” from the international community.

“I believe that of all the meetings we have had so far for the friends of Syria, this will turn out to be the most significant,” British Foreign Secretary William Hague said at the final news conference.

The conference members also announced new humanitarian assistance for Syrians, including $100m from Saudi Arabia and a fund to be managed by Germany and the United Arab Emirates for the reconstruction of the country after Assad falls.

‘Political solution’

Western countries have been reluctant to send arms to Syria, not the least because of their experience in Libya, where the West actively backed one side in a civil war in a country that later became awash with armed groups.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO secretary general, said from Brussels that international recognition of the Syrian opposition coalition was a “step in the right direction of a political solution”.

“Clearly, there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria – we need a political solution,” he told Al Jazeera. “We don’t have any intention to intervene militarily.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday that recognition of the Syrian opposition coalition contradicts earlier international agreements aimed at starting a Syria dialogue that would include all sides in the conflict.

Germany’s lower house of parliament will debate whether to send patriot missiles and 400 soldiers to the Turkish-Syrian border.

Germany is considering arming the border at Turkey’s request to keep the war in Syria from spilling over.

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

John Bolton, the notorious hardliner who served as President Bush’s UN ambassador, is chairman of the “Islamophobic” Gatestone Institute and a senior fellow at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute.


J.D. Crouch II is a former deputy national security adviser and assistant to President George W. Bush who helped develop the “troop surge” in Iraq.


Elliott Abrams is an ideological neoconservative based at the Council on Foreign Relations whose track record includes a criminal conviction for lying to Congress during the Reagan-era Iran-Contra affair.


Michael Flynn is a former Trump administration National Security Advisor who was forced to step down only weeks on the job because of his controversial contacts with Russian officials before Trump took office.


Victoria Coates, member of Donald Trump’s National Security Council and former adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), has a long track record of working with hardline foreign policy hawks.


Joe Lieberman, the neoconservative Democrat from Connecticut who retired from the Senate in 2013, co-chairs a foreign policy project at the American Enterprise Institute.


Founded shortly after 9/11, the now defunct Americans for Victory over Terrorism championed “victory” in the “war on terrorism,” in part by promoting “research about Islam and Islamism” and “attacking those who would blame America first.”


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Print Friendly

If, as reported, KT McFarland was allowed to choose John Bolton as her boss at the National Security Agency, it should scare the hell out of everyone.


Print Friendly

Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with Donald Trump was overshadowed by unsettling events that preceded and followed their bizarre press conference.


Print Friendly

The meeting between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu provided the clearest indication yet that the United States will support Netanyahu in stepping back from the two-state solution.


Print Friendly

Will President Donald Trump name Elliott Abrams deputy secretary of state? Although a knowledgeable and capable operator, Abrams is better known for being convicted on charges of withholding information from Congress about the Iran-Contra scandal, smearing those with whom he disagrees with charges of anti-Semitism, and defending perpetrators of mass human rights violations, including in particular people accused of genocide in the Central American conflicts of the 1980s.


Print Friendly

Reports the the United States plans ti impose new sanctions on “Iranian entities” appears to indicate the the start of a systematic effort by the Trump administration to abrogate the Iran nuclear deal.


Print Friendly

Trump’s support for a Muslim ban are connected to his embrace of an unscientific poll undertaken by one of his top advisors (who claims that she disseminates “alternative facts”) and commissioned by a renowned anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist.


Print Friendly

The people who are expected to have the biggest impact on Donald Trump’s foreign policy collectively have no experience at all in this issue.


RightWeb
share