In August 2012, Reuters published news that Obama had signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for the rebels seeking to depose Bashar al-Assad, and that along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Turkey had established a secret base near the Syrian border to help direct vital military and communications support to Assad’s opponents; this was followed by more news such as ‘providing aid of $100 million’ and ‘$123 million’ at different times. While the millions poured in, we know that most of this money has not reached the camps of the internally displaced Syrians, who are living in miserable conditions, the number of whom is over 2,500,000 according to a UNHCR estimate.
Saudi Arabia has been the main Sunni power aligned with the Rebels; its main intention is to rid Syria of the extremist Alawite sect. Last year, ‘Saudi Arabia, along with Qatar, has indicated that it is prepared to send an increased flow of heavy weaponry, including hand-held surface-to-air missiles’. This month, ‘the Saudi-financed missile shipments arrived… through Jordan after months of quiet Saudi pressure to prod Amman to open a supply route’.
Russia, one of the unyielding victors of WW2, yet holder of Veto power in the UN, had never forgotten how its victory had been robbed in the coming years. Though it had been playing Cold for all these years, yet it was never out of the War. Russia’s allegiance with Iran goes back to the Iranian Revolution, when Iran ousted the US-backed regime of the Shah; a common enemy in the form of the US made them allies. When Russia broke down into several states, with its retreat from Afghanistan in 1991, it started bending more towards Iran, for the possibility of creating a new block of communist favoring countries including China, Iran and other countries along the Russian borders. Though these countries have bound together under SCO and CSTO, but this binding has been arbitrary. Only the Arab Spring and the threat on Syria has brought these two countries ever more closer, as they see the pandemic of orchestrated revolt heading their way.
The downing of Assad from power would mean increased seclusion of Iran in the Islamic block, with its link to the Hezbollah broken; it would mean it’s being more vulnerable to Israel and the US’s repeated threats on its atomic facilities. It would also mean an unstable belt of countries all through Tunisia to Afghanistan, creating a void that could be cashed in by the US and its European allies, to convert the next century into theirs, too. Foreseeing all this, perhaps, Russia decided to aid Syria’s ruling side with funds and weapons and to complete the circle of supplies through the Black Sea. It is alleged that Russia has been providing Scuds, longer-range surface-to-surface missiles, the Yakhont antiship missile system SA-17 surface-to-air missiles and advanced S-300 air defense weapons (Source).
After years of slacking on the promise to cooperate in their nuclear program, Russia has announced Vladimir Putin’s official trip to Tehran; wherein Putin will aim to reverse a dead-end in discussions about Iran’s nuclear program, and initiate the construction of new Russian power plants in Iran as well as the delivery of Russian-made anti-missile systems to Iran. “Iran has held consultations with the Russian side and soon an agreement of mutual understanding will be signed on the construction of a new nuclear power plant,” said Ali Akbar Salehi, Iranian Foreign Minister and former Nuclear Chief.
Since Jan 2013, Israel too has entered the war, without being directly provoked, and on the allegation that the arms being supplied to Syria for its defense by Russia are making it vulnerable to being attacked upon, with a strengthening Hezbollah-Syria-Iran nexus. As usual, Israel’s act was opposed to international diplomatic norm; and while the big powers were playing proxy all this time, posing for a negotiated resolution of the issue through UN intrusion, Israel barged out in its uncivil style as always. Israel has attacked major Syrian depots and convoys containing Russian supplied arms several times since then.
Meanwhile, Russia’s impromptu Black Sea War Game at the end of March, an elaborated military exercise, has alarmed the Western world, who are deeming it unscheduled; and more so, the NATO has asked Russia to be more open about its moves and give NATO Headquarters in Brussels notice of its military movements in the future. (Source)
In July, news came out that Israel had used a Turkish military base to launch one of its airstrikes against Syria from the sea; this was the attack on Latakia. Although Turkey had been all out in its verbal, humanitarian and arms support to the Syrian Rebels, and all aid to the rebels had been going through its borders for the last two years, but this was different! The Muslim world en masse considers Israel its opponent for its brutalities on the Palestinians and its unjust invasion over their land, and Turkey’s allowance of such a nature could instantly turn the whole Muslim world against it. Turkey and its allies have tried to suppress this news from the mainstream media and Turkish officials have tried to deny this news. On the other hand, Turkey has also taken an open stance in support of the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, calling for the reinstatement of their democratically elected government, perhaps to secure a favorable position in one religious sector of the Islamic world at least. “…my president in Egypt is Morsi because he was elected by the people…” said Erdagon in July.