"MOSCOW (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sparked controversy this week when she accused Russia of escalating the conflict in Syria by sending it attack helicopters. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov rejected the claim, saying that Russia is only shipping air defense systems under previously signed contracts.
The State Department acknowledged Thursday that the helicopters Clinton referred to were being returned to Syria after refurbishment and are not new tools against Syrian opposition groups. Nonetheless, Russia has shipped billions of dollars' worth of missiles, tanks, artillery and other military gear to Syria over more than four decades."
Recent events I've seen and heard make it sound as if the United States and Russia (most of which made up the former USSR) are at it again. Washington and Moscow used to use military equipment issues to Israel and Syria, respectively ,as a way to preserve power-blocs and hegemony in the Middle East triangle of Israel, Syria and Lebanon during and after the October 1973 "Yom Kippur" war and the rape of Lebanon in the 1970s and 80s.
So much time has passed, but what has changed?
Meanwhile, the 23 million people of Syria have become the newest nation to descend into a state of insurrection. With the "soft-coup" military crackdown reported in Egypt, it appears that the Arab Spring is over. As the report above from the Al-Jezzera news agency last week reports, there are thousands of refugees fleeing into Turkey and some rebel fighters crossing back over the border with neighboring Syria.
It's doubtful to me given the sparse on-site reporting we are getting from a variety of sources that anybody really knows where these arms are winding up or who they are being used upon. Many of the rebel groups are apparently deserters from Assad's army, some are violent sectarians and others are involved in the conflict because of hatred for the Assad Dynasty which has ruled this nation, ruthlessly when needed, since 1970.
The State Department says the Russians and the Iranians are supplying the Assad government and other sourcess say that NATO and other groups are supporting the various opposition forces. Others like RT television, the main Russian government conduit to the outside world, say most of the arming and butchery is on the rebel side and the USA and NATO is to blame.
One thing is certain: more arms shipments from any source will NOT lead to peace!
All the Security Council nations in the UN should stand aside and call for a peace program. Finger-pointing while men are beaten, women are raped and children are being blown to pieces is less than inhumane.
"(Reuters) - The Syrian town of Haffeh was smoldering and nearly deserted on Thursday after days of clashes between government forces and rebels, while activists reported more army assaults on pro-opposition areas across the country.
"United Nations monitors had been trying to enter the town after several days of fighting but were forced to turn back on Tuesday when a crowd attacked them.
"They finally gained access on Thursday to find state buildings burnt down, shops abandoned and a body lying in the street. Smoke rose from destroyed buildings and burnt-out cars littered the roads. There were signs of heavy bombardment."