More than 100 Foreign Fighters Killed in Syria on Thursday
On Thursday the armed forces of the Syrian Arab Republic carried out a counter-terrorism operation in Bustan al-Qasr, Aleppo. According to SyriaOnline, a web site of Damascus Radio and TV, the operation resulted in the death more than 100 Afghani fighters which had been stationed near the al-Fidaa al-Arabi school. The presence of Afghani fighters in Syria is consistent with the fact the the CIA imported Afghan fighters from Mazar e-Sharif to fight in Libya in 2011.
According to the Syrian Arab News Agency SANA, another military unit clashed with a terrorist group in the al-Fatayes district of al-Jidideh, killing seven terrorists, including one sniper. In the al-Arqoub area armed forces pursued terrorists and seized a large number of weapons. Other clashes are reported throughout the country but the clashes appear all to be limited and contained.
In a conversation this morning, a journalist from Al-Alam who is reporting from the scenes of the events in Syria, reported that the battles are contained to small regions or districts while the overall situation in Syria remains relatively calm and stable. Western media reports are, according to the al-Alam reporter, exaggerated.
During some of the clashes the Syrian military intercepted and secured some of the SAM-7 missiles which recently have been shipped from Libya via the Turkish port of Iskenderun. The military reportedly also confiscated an unknown number of Stinger Missiles and other sophisticated military equipment.
According to the Al-Alam reporter, Turkish military units are deployed at several of the border crossings between Syria and Turkey, providing logistical and other support for both arms traffickers and insurgents. According to the reporter there have been a number of Turkish citizens among the killed insurgents, but the majority of insurgents comes from other countries like Qatar, Libya. Turkish fighters seem mainly to operate as commanders, supervisors and organizers,
It is not unlikely that Turkish and NATO intelligence and Special Forces as well as Turkish insurgents with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood are functioning as officers and liaisons, while the major contingent of insurgents are supplied from Qatar, Libya, Afghanistan and other countries. Many of the Libyan fighters and Libya trained and recruited fighters are under the command of NATO intelligence assets Harati and Abdelhakim Belhadj.
The fact that Turkish military intelligence opened an operations and recruitment office in Amman, Jordan shortly after the US withdrawal from Iraq, earlier this year, and the fact that the opening of the Turkish office in Amman and the re-deployment of some of the US-troops from Iraq to Jordan coincided with the deployment of approximately 18.000 fighters from Libya to the Al-Mafriq region of Jordan seems to further corroborate that Turkish military intelligence and Muslim Brothers make up significant parts of the insurgencies command structure.
Other reports indicate that the relatively limited numbers of insurgents inside Syria, which operate in groups of hundreds, while up to one thousand are trained and armed in Lebanon on a daily basis indicates, that the conflict has a propensity towards spreading to Lebanon and a confrontation with Hezbollah.
So far the Syrian government remains stable, the democratic and legal institutions remain functioning, and the Syrian military has, in spite of some defections kept the upper hand. A fall of the Damascus government in 2012 is unlikely. Given the fact that a regional war and a spread of the conflict into Lebanon and Iran has long been planned it is almost impossible to establish a longer term prognosis other than the one that the development of a regional conflict, involving Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Iran is likely to threaten global security.
Christof Lehmann – nsnbc