Balkanization of Syrian War

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The rebel war against the Syrian government has become Balkanized. Literally.

Today the UK Telegraph is reporting that the United States has facilitated the shipment of some 3,000 tons of weapons left over from the Balkan wars of the 1990s to Syria via Croatia.

According to the Telegraph:

“The shipments were allegedly paid for by Saudi Arabia at the bidding of the United States, with assistance on supplying the weapons organised through Turkey and Jordan, Syria’s neighbours.”

That explains how all those Yugoslav weapons keep being photographed in rebel hands in Syria. And although somewhat dated, they are still extremely serious and deadly weapons. Continues the Telegraph:

“The weapons, including rocket launchers, recoil-less guns and the M79 anti-tank weapon, have been seen in rebel hands in numerous videos, and were first spotted by an arms expert Eliot Higgins, who blogs under the name Brown Moses. He traced them moving from Dera’a in the south, near the Jordanian border, to Aleppo and Idlib provinces in the north.”

This radical escalation on the part of the US and UK is in clear violation of the European arms embargo of Syria and similar US administration pledges.

And where are these weapons ending up?

“…Mr Higgins has recently posted videos showing some of the Croat weapons in the hands of the jihadist group Ahrar al-Sham.”

There you have it. The US is facilitating the transfer of sophisticated weapons to terrorists who utilize al-Qaeda in Iraq style techniques such as planting roadside bombs.

This development raises in even stronger terms the questions about what exactly Ambassador Stevens was doing in Benghazi that fateful night last September. Was he too working to facilitate the transfer of weapons to Syria when a deal went sour and he was caught out on the wrong side of angry jihadists?

Here are Syria’s jihadist fighters showing off their latest gifts courtesy of the United States:

(Thanks to Travis Holte)

On Twitter @DanielLMcAdams

12:14 pm on March 9, 2013