Even US media groups like CNN are admitting that foreign jihadists, particularly Libyans, are flocking to Syria. Writing in the New York Times, Vali Nasr, Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of International Studies, warns that if Assad should fall from power, over 100 different opposition groups inside Syria would continue to fight for power with each other and with members of the Alawite, Shiite, Christian, and Druze religious minorities, threatening to turn Syria into “a larger version of Lebanon in the 1970s … There would be ethnic cleansing, refugee floods, humanitarian disasters and opportunities for Al Qaeda.” Full text at link.
The Gulf sheikhdoms, especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have supplied millions of dollars’ worth of weapons to the Syrian opposition and pledged to pay salaries to “rebel” fighters. While Washington has claimed that it is providing “non-lethal” supplies to the opposition, such as night vision glasses and communications equipment, teams of CIA operatives are acknowledged to be working inside Turkey to coordinate the distribution of money and arms to the various militant groups.
The United States and its allies are escalating their intervention in Syria despite growing concerns over the character of the Islamist forces they are supporting. Having stoked the conflict in Syria to the point of civil war, Washington now faces the prospect of an ethno-sectarian break-up of the country and the spread of fighting throughout the region.