Published On: Sat, Feb 15th, 2014

Saudi Arabia to supply Anti-Aircraft Missiles to Mercenaries in Syria

Wall Street Journal misinformation covers up direct US control over which weapons can and cannot be introduced by mercenary field commanders.

Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) : The Wall Street Journal quotes high-level diplomatic sources as saying that Saudi Arabia will provide advanced, shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles and anti-tank missiles to mercenary forces in Syria via Jordan, and that Saudi Arabia and the USA continue to pay millions of dollars for the mercenaries salaries. The WSJ quotes a US diplomat as saying that the US opposes the delivery of anti-aircraft missiles, but previous reports confirm that the USA controls the proliferation of weapons to mercenaries, including al-Qaeda brigades via the Ramtha Airbase and the Jordanian border town Al-Mafraq.


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Misleading Reports: The WSJ quotes an Arab diplomat as saying that Washington’s Arab allies have decided to deliver advanced Chinese-made, shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles (Manpads) to the “opposition” in Syria as Saudi Arabia and others become frustrated over the lack of progress made at the Geneva II talks. Besides the Manpads, the mercenaries will also be provided sophisticated anti-tank missiles. The decision was made to tip the strategic balance in favor of the opposition, reports WSJ.

The US newspaper, then proceeds by quoting an unnamed senior White House official as saying that the USA has long opposed arming rebels with anti-aircraft missiles for fear that they could fall into the hands of extremists who might then use them against the West or commercial airlines. The WSJ states that the Saudis have held off supplying them in the past because of US opposition. WSJ then states that

A senior Obama administration official said Friday that the U.S. objection remains the same. “There hasn’t been a change internally on our view”.

With regard to the timeframe for the delivery of the Manpads and new supplies of the Russian-made Konkurs anti-tank missiles, the WSJ writes:

“New stuff is arriving imminently,” said a Western diplomat with knowledge of the weapons deliveries.

​Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mashaal Al Zaben met with US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey.

​Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mashaal Al Zaben met with US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey.

The WSJ quotes the unnamed Western diplomat as saying that the weapons will flow across the border to Syria from warehouses in Jordan and across the northern border from Turkey. It quotes “rebel leaders” as stating that the deliveries are expected to be more substantial than previous deliveries. The last statement must refer to the delivery of Konkurs anti-tank missiles, which began in August 2013, at a time when the US’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey happened to visit Jordan.

The WSJ quotes “rebels” as saying that the USA has spent 3 million US dollars on salaries of fighters in the Southern Front, delivering the payments in cash over two meetings in Jordan – one on 30 January and the other one last year.

As much as the WSJ article “discloses”, as much does it omit, spin or cover-up a number of key factors. It is, in other words, well drafted misinformation. It is worth remembering that the CIA has a significant influence over major US publications and media.

Konkurs anti-tank missile

Konkurs anti-tank missile

No deliveries of advanced anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles via Jordan without US approval. The WSJ attempts to create the impression that Saudi Arabia and impatient Arab allies might deliver the advanced anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles without the approval of the US administration and that the USA only delivers weapons to so-called moderate rebels.

The article “Top US and Saudi Officials responsible for Chemical Weapons in Syria” published in October 2013, however, establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  • That the USA, since 2011, has maintained a presence of US Special Forces, DIA, State Department, CIA, and agencies like USAID at the Ramtha Airbase in Jordan, the Jordanian border town Al-Mafraq, and nearby refugee camps.
  • That the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Martin Dempsey was in Jordan in August, when Saudi Arabia first began delivering Konkurs anti-tank missiles to the mercenaries in Syria, and that no weapons deliveries via Jordan are possible without explicit US approval.
  • That US Special Forces and agencies work in direct liaison with, among others, Jabhat al-Nusrah and Liwa-al-Islam and their supreme commanders, and that there is a direct chain of command from US Special Forces and agencies in Jordan to the high-command of these US-funded al-Qaeda mercenary brigades.
SAM-7 missiles delivered to terrorists via Iskanderun, Turkey

SAM-7 missiles delivered to terrorists via Iskanderun, Turkey

“Opposition” has had SAMs since 2012 – US has direct control over which weapons can or cannot be deployed by field commanders. The WSJ article states that the USA has long opposed the delivery of advanced, shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles to the so-called rebels or opposition. While this may be true, this statement proves, that the USA has direct control over which type of weaponry may or may not be deployed by the respective field commanders of mercenary brigades in Syria.

In September 2012, the Libyan registered cargo vessel Intisaar (victory) arrived at the Turkish port of Iskenderun with a cargo of 400 tons of weapons for the “opposition” in Syria. The cargo included rocket-propelled grenades and shoulder-fired SAM-7 surface to air anti-aircraft missiles. Abu Mohammad, a spokesman for the Free Syrian Army said then, that this was the largest single delivery of assistance the gunmen had so far received. The name of the ship’s captain is Omar Mousaeeb. It took less than a week for the weapons to arrive via Turkey to mercenaries in Syria. The weapons were distributed with the help of Turkish military officers. Weapons, including SAM-7s were proliferated to several brigades, including Jabhat al-Nusrah.

The mere fact that none of these SAM-7 surface to air missiles has been used by any of the al-Qaeda brigades operating in Syria, together with the fact that the chemical weapons attack in East Ghouta, on 21 August 2013 was launched after the direct order to hold the Jobar entrance to Damascus at any cost, betrays that the WSJ omits that:

The United States, and its Special Forces in Jordan and Turkey have a very high degree of control over which weapons of mass destruction and what kind of advanced weaponry can or cannot be introduced into the theater of operations and when.

The WSJ article is, in other words, an attempt to position Saudi Arabia and Arab allies who are dissatisfied over the lack of progress at the Geneva II as if the were unilaterally introducing the Chinese-made surface to air missiles into the theater. It is also an attempt to position the US administration and the Pentagon as if it was beyond their control to prevent this development. It is, in other words, deliberate misinformation about the United States role in arming terrorist organizations with sophisticated weapon systems.

Syrian Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem in Geneva, Switzerland.

Syrian Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem in Geneva, Switzerland.

Why are Saudi Arabia and the United States Arab allies frustrated over the lack of progress at Geneva II? The Wall Street Journal just quotes diplomatic and White House sources as stating that Saudi Arabia, the US’s Arab allies and “the opposition” are frustrated over the lack of progress at the Geneva II talks between the official Syrian delegation and the “opposition”. It does not question where this frustration is coming from and for a good reason.

The official Syrian delegation to the Geneva II conference succeeded in putting counterterrorism on the agenda of the talks, as outlined in the 2012 Geneva Communiqué. The decision was made on Wednesday, 12 February, during a joint session between the official Syrian delegation and the delegation of the foreign-backed coalition, in the presence of the joint UN/AL Special Envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi.

The foreign-backed coalition at the Geneva II talks has, in other words, been forced to agree that priority must be given to counterterrorism and to ending the bloodshed in Syria before it is possible to arrive at a political solution to the war which would have the backing and approval of the Syrian people. This was a stunning diplomatic defeat of the “Friends of Syria” who know that any foreign-imposed political solution or foreign-imposed government would be rejected by the overwhelming majority of Syrians. This is why Saudi Arabia, the United States’ Arab allies and indeed, the United States, the UK, France and Israel are disappointed over “the lack of progress” in Geneva. Their answer to the Syrian people’s rejection of terrorism is to arm the terrorists with sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles.

Ch/L - nsnbc 15.02.2014

About the Author

- Dr. Christof Lehmann is the founder and editor of nsnbc. He is a psychologist and independent political consultant on conflict and conflict resolution and a wide range of other political issues. His work with traumatized victims of conflict has led him to also pursue the work as political consultant. He is a lifelong activist for peace and justice, human rights, Palestinians rights to self-determination in Palestine, and he is working on the establishment of international institutions for the prosecution of all war crimes, also those committed by privileged nations. On 28 August 2011 he started his blog nsnbc, appalled by misrepresentations of the aggression against Libya and Syria. In March 2013 he turned nsnbc into a daily, independent, international on-line newspaper. He can be contacted at nsnbc international at

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  1. RuthM says:

    Wie werden belogen, von vorne bis hinten.
    Habe mir die Mühe gemacht diesen Artikel zusammen mit den verlinkten Qellen zu studieren und muss gestehen dass mir die Schuppen von den Augen gefallen sind. So, jetzt habe ich aber die Schnauze voll von meiner Passivität, von heute ab wird aktiv mitgemacht, Wir brauchen wieder eine Friedensbewegung die mit mehr als fünf Leuten aufstellt und jezt sind es auf jeden Fall schon mal sechs. Danke für den gediegenen Journalismus.

    • Bild im Sonderangebot :)
      Walraff? Herzlich wilkommen bei nsnbc.Es freut mich wenn unseren Leern die Schuppen von den Augen fallen. Völlig einig, wir brauchen eine Friedensbewegung. Leider sind die Regierungen der Nationen die keine Aggressionspolitik führen aber noch nicht zu der Einsicht gekommen dass Sie Ihr Geld dort anbringen müssen wo ihr Mund ist. Bis das geschieht, fürchte ich, werden Sie noch sehr lange fünf oder sieben Mann/Frau hoch gegen den Krieg protestieren. Eine Fridensbewegung braucht Logistik, PR, Presse, Veranstaltungen, Geld eben. Von den NAM Staaten kommt aber nichts. Vielen Dank.

  2. Sandy says:

    The argument about none of the SAM-7s having been used sticks. Brilliant point.

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