The Battle for Syria
|Jim Kouri||August 19th 2012|
Syrian rebels on Thursday warned the U.S. and the European Unions they will turn to al-Qaeda if the West fails to provide aid -- including weapons -- to them, according to reports. The U.S. and other nations' hesitancy to provide meaningful aid to the Syrian rebels battling the Assad government troops in a bloodbath within nation's largest city, Aleppo, could very well cause the rebels to turn to al-Qaeda terrorists who continue to pour into Syria from Iraq, according to a counterterrorism source in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
"My colleagues overseas tell me that fighters from al-Qaeda's Iraqi faction have been sneaking into the country for at least a year in hopes of taking control of the civil war and then takeover the new government once the Syrian president and his minions are imprisoned or executed," said the veteran counterterrorist. During the Iraq War, Syria was used as a base of operations for al-Qaeda in Iraq during the most violent and destructive days of that war, according to Thomas Angeleno, who served as a police advisor under former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who was contracted to help create the first stages of the Baghdad Police during the early days of the Hussein ouster.The Obama White House reportedly intends to order American officials to start making plans to arm Syria's rebels. However, it will be a slow process since President Barack Obama wishes a complete vetting program for members of the so-called Free Syrian Army. The administration believes it must evaluate the situation before the rebels receive equipment and arms supplied by various Gulf states. But the Defense Department and the White House have held off on efforts to supply Syrian fighters with weapons directly, amid concerns that if heavy weapons are funneled into Syria, it’s possible those arms could later be turned against American or allied troops by al-Qaeda fighters.
Fear is building that al-Qaeda forces in Syria could lead to the same situation being faced by Yemen's government, who are fighting a full-scale war with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), according to a U.S. intelligence source.
Jim Kouri, the fifth Vice President and Public Information Officer of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, writes for the Examiner, from where this article is adapted. He has served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the U.S.