Jihad Watch asks, “Will that stop Obama’s funding the Syrian rebels, who are Islamic jihadists, or his move toward actively intervening? Probably not.”
President Obama was right to wait for further reports on who used chemical weapons in Syria. The next question is: Where did they get the weapons from? Has US support for the rebels been a mistake? Will the rebels use them again? Will the rebels share them with al Qaeda? Is the US arming the wrong rebels?
“UN: Rebels, not Assad, appear to have used chemical weapons” by Julian Pecquet at The Hill, May 5:
United Nations human rights investigators said Sunday they have gathered testimony from outside Syria suggesting rebels, not Bashar Assad’s regime, may have used chemical weapons.“Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated,” Carla Del Ponte, a member of the independent commission of inquiry on Syria, told Swiss-Italian television. “This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities.”
The allegations will likely make it harder for the Obama administration to justify taking a more active role in the two-year-old civil war on the side of the opposition. The administration has said in recent days that chemical weapons appeared to have been used in Syria, which would violate the “red line” Obama set for Assad’s forces….
Charles Krauthammer in an editorial for the Washington Post stated:
The fall of Bashar al-Assad’s Syria could be similarly ominous for Iran. The alliance with Syria is the centerpiece of Iran’s expanding sphere of influence, a mini-Comintern that includes such clients as Iranian-armed and -directed Hezbollah, now the dominant power in Lebanon; and Hamas, which controls Gaza and threatens to take the rest of Palestine (the West Bank) from a feeble Fatah.
Additionally, Iran exerts growing pressure on Afghanistan to the east and growing influence in Iraq to the west. Tehran has even extended its horizon to Latin America, as symbolized by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s solidarity tour through Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Cuba.
Of all these clients, Syria is the most important. It’s the only Arab state openly allied with non-Arab Iran. This is significant because the Arabs see the Persians as having had centuries-old designs to dominate the Middle East. Indeed, Iranian arms and trainers, transshipped to Hezbollah through Syria, have given the Persians their first outpost on the Mediterranean in 2,300 years.
Did Iran provide the chemical weapons, which were then confiscated by the rebels and used against Assad? So many questions, so few answers.