Posted on June 23, 2013 by Administrator
TEHRAN (FNA)- Tens of retired US Army officers accompanied by a military cargo infiltrated into Syria through Turkey’s Hatay province on Sunday, informed sources unveiled, adding that the American militaries and the cargo had arrived in Hatay just this morning.
“An American C-130 plane carrying a cargo of hi-tech telecommunications equipment and devices and 57 retired US officers landed in Turkey’s Hatay province this morning,” an informed source, who asked to remain unnamed for the sensitivity of his information, told FNA on Sunday.
“The US officers crossed the border with Syria via Reyhanli (in Hatay province) and their goal is to take charge of the central command of all military activities of armed rebels in Syria,” added the source.
He mentioned that the military cargo, containing the telecommunications equipment, left Reyhanli for the border crossing after the US officers arrived at their destination in Northern Syria.
Earlier this month, a report said that the US spy agency was gearing up to send weapons to insurgent groups in Syria through secret bases in Turkey and Jordan.
“The bases are expected to begin conveying shipments of weapons and ammunition within weeks,” the US daily, The Washington Post, reported Saturday, quoting unnamed American officials as saying.
“We have relationships today in Syria that we didn’t have six months ago,” US President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser Benjamin J. Rhodes said during a White House briefing.
US officials announced on Thursday that Obama had authorized sending weapons to the militants in Syria ‘for the first time.’
In mid-June, American newspaper USA Today quoted Christopher Harmer, an analyst with the Institute for the Study of War, as saying that the US is vetting to use Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base, which is technically a NATO air base, as a hub for supplying militants in Syria with weapons.
Early in March, a ranking member of the US marine troops deployed in Afghanistan told FNA that the Pentagon made the decision to send a major part of its light and semi-heavy weapons systems and military equipment to the Syrian rebels along with its pullout from Afghanistan when the former US Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, was still in office.
“The decision to send our arms and weapons systems in Afghanistan to the rebel groups in Syria was originally made when the former US Secretary of Defense was in his final days of office, yet the Pentagon has also received the approval of the new Secretary, Chuck Hagel, as well,” said the source who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of his information.
“One of these cargos consists of the light and semi-heavy military tools, equipment and weapons that the US army has gathered and piled up in Kandahar Base and plans to send them to the rebels in Syria in the form of several air and sea cargos and through Turkey and specially Jordan,” he explained.
Reports had also earlier revealed that Turkey’s national air carrier, Turkish Air, has been transiting Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants from North Waziristan in Pakistan to the Turkish borders with Syria.
“The Turkish intelligence agency sent 93 Al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorists from Waziristan to Hatay province near the border with Syria on a Turkish Air Airbus flight No. 709 on September 10, 2012 and via the Karachi-Istanbul flight route,” the source told FNA in September, adding that the flight had a short stop in Istanbul.
The 93 terrorists transited to the Turkish border with Syria included Al-Qaeda militants from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and a group of Arabs residing in Waziristan, he added.
FNA dispatches from Pakistan said new al-Qaeda members were trained in North Waziristan until a few days ago and then sent to Syria, but now they are transferring their command center to the borders between Turkey and Syria as a first step to be followed by a last move directly into the restive parts of Syria on the other side of the border.
The al-Qaeda, backed by Turkey, the US and its regional Arab allies, had set up a new camp in Northern Waziristan in Pakistan to train Salafi and Jihadi terrorists and dispatched them to Syria via Turkish borders.
“A new Al-Qaeda has been created in the region through the financial and logistical backup of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and a number of western states, specially the US,” a source told FNA in September.
Ali Mahdian told FNA that the US and the British governments have been playing with the al-Qaeda through their Arab proxy regimes in the region in a bid to materialize their goals, specially in Syria.
He said the Saudi and Qatari regimes serve as interlocutors to facilitate the CIA and MI6 plans in Syria through instigating terrorist operations by Salafi and Arab Jihadi groups, adding that the terrorists do not know that they actually exercise the US plans.
“Turkey has also been misusing extremist Salafis and Al-Qaeda terrorists to intensify the crisis in Syria and it has recently augmented its efforts in this regard by helping the new Al-Qaeda branch set up a camp in Northern Waziristan in Pakistan to train Al-Qaeda and Taliban members as well as Turkish Salafis and Arab Jihadis who are later sent to Syria for terrorist operations,” said the source.
He said the camp in Waziristan is not just a training center, but a command center for terrorist operations against Syria.
Yet, the source said the US and Britain are looking at the new Al-Qaeda force as an instrument to attain their goals and do not intend to support them to ascend to power, “because if Salafi elements in Syria ascend to power, they will create many problems for the US, the Western states and Turkey in future”.
“Thus, the US, Britain and Turkey are looking at the Al-Qaeda as a tactical instrument,” he said, and warned of the regional and global repercussions of the US and Turkish aid to the Al-Qaeda and Salafi groups.
“Unfortunately, these group of countries have just focused on the short-term benefits that the Salafis and the Al-Qaeda can provide for them and ignore the perils of this support in the long run,” he said.
“At present, the western countries, specially Britain which hosts and controls the Jihadi Salafi groups throughout the world are paving the ground for these extremists to leave their homes – mostly in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as well as those who live in Europe and the US – for Waziristan,” the source added.