Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 06, 2014

Syria: Insurgents Attack Chemical Weapon Depot

Even as Syria is making steady progress in delivering, as promised, chemical weapon precursors to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the U.S. ambassador to the UN is foaming from her mouth about alleged Syrian stonewalling. Syria had explained certain delays in earlier deliveries with attacks by insurgent groups on chemical weapon sites and convoys. The U.S. certainly knows that such attacks happened and continue to happen.

Phil Sands has written several good stories about the attack on Syria for the UAE National. His latest is about an attack by insurgents, western supported ones including the Al-Qaeda franchise Jabhat al-Nusra, on a chemical weapons depot in Syria near the border to Jordan. The "western" insurgency command center in Jordan feared that the insurgents could seek those. It ordered the insurgents to stop and withheld weapons and ammunition to make them do so:

International military commanders based in Jordan were on the brink of ordering air strikes against a “strategic weapons” store in southern Syria, according to accounts of a dramatic incident last week.

With rebels closing in on the fortified bunker at the Tal Al Jabiyeh military complex in south-western Deraa, military and intelligence officers from the US, Europe and Arab states who staff a clandestine operations room in Amman, scrambled to make sure the weapons inside did not fall into the hands of Al Qaeda-affiliated rebels.
In a tense four-hour period on Tuesday night last week, rebels involved in the assault – including Jabhat Al Nusra – were warned by officials in the command centre that Israeli jets were on standby to bomb a bunker on which they were advancing, less than 8km from the border with Israel.

It is not surprising that the "western" led command center in Jordan is coordinating with the Israeli military. As Phil Sands reported earlier the Israeli military is paying large sums to some of the mercenary groups:

At least three rebel factions in southern Syria have been in regular contact with Israeli intelligence officials, and have each received more than one tranche of funding worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to a well-connected rebel commander who is familiar with operations in the zone bordering Jordan and Israel.

“When they run out of cash, they contact the Israelis,” he said of fellow commanders in the area, a practice he said did not bother him.

The fighting in the south of Syria, coordinated largely by the United States from Jordan, does not only include Jabhat al-Nusra, but also the competing (former) al-Qaeda franchise ISIS:

The Syrian government and its Lebanese allies from the Hezbollah militant group announced last November that they’d launched an operation to clear the mountainous Qalamoun – including the key rebel-held city of Yabroud – in order to take control of the country’s main highway and break a key rebel supply route that links rebel strongholds in central Syria with the pro-rebel Lebanese city of Arsal.

But progress has been slow, as hundreds of ISIS fighters, as well as a unit of radical fighters from Saudi Arabia, have bolstered the rebel forces, according to Syrian activists who maintain close contact with radical groups that are fighting to topple the regime of President Bashar Assad.

In another development, little mentioned in "western" media, Jabhat al-Nusra broke the truce that had allowed the United Nations to distribute food in the Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus:

The peace agreement apparently has fallen apart. Nusra, according to some reports, has returned to the area, and pro-government forces are apparently fighting to prevent them from re-establishing themselves.

One can only speculate about why Nusra came back. Maybe its leaders realized that their pullout could be seen as a victory for the government. Maybe they simply couldn’t give up an area that is strategic to the control of southern Damascus. But whatever the reason, Nusra has returned, and the optimism that life could return to normal in Yarmouk appears to have vanished.

Other than the Yarmouk disaster little progress seems to have been made on either side of the fighting. The announced U.S. supported spring offensive by the insurgents in the South seems not have happened yet or is simply stuck while the Syrian army offensives in Qalamoun and in Aleppo are only slowly progressing.

Posted by b on March 6, 2014 at 11:56 UTC | Permalink


the intent on the part of the west in syria seems to be to feed the mayham with more money and arms.. thanks israel/usa and all your good friends in s.a. or turkey.. create a hell hole while your military industry complex continues to grow unabated...make sure to keep your public as misinformed as possible by being drenched in a steady diet of propaganda that says the opposite..

Posted by: james | Mar 6 2014 16:34 utc | 1

Call me cynical, but I believe the Yankees have a big incentive to pretend that their failed/foiled Syria plot is proceeding satisfactorily. After all, Syria is just another pissy little country which should have been bombed back to the Stone Age in August 2013 (by the most cowardly and dishonest Superpower, ever).
But it wasn't. And won't be.
When Glenda Jackson was an MP she (accurately) described the 2003 invasion of Iraq as "The most cowardly attack in the history of warfare."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 6 2014 17:07 utc | 2

While it is to be assumed that militant groups in Gaza obtain weapons or materials to manufacture weapons somehow, including through the assistance of foreign governments, GOI's recent claims about an intercepted shipment from Syria are fishy:

1) In cement bags? GOI has been claiming for years that the only reason that it prevents Gaza from repairing damaged buildings and infrastructure is because weapons are being smuggled in disguised as building materials. The water quality in Gaza is so bad that there is danger of a cholera outbreak because they can't repair the treatment plant and militants would be so callous at this point to smuggle weapons parts into Gaza in cement bags? Every mother of a militant in Islamic Jihad would disown them.

2) Gaza's militants could obtain weapons from many different sources, why the sudden "sting" operation from Syria (especially flying them out of war-torn Syria to put them on a boat in Iran)?

3) Israel not only has launched bombing attacks on the Lebanon Syria border and on free Syrian Golan, it is actively supporting the Syrian insurgents. American MSM has downplayed Israeli support for the insurgents or framed it as humanitarian medical treatment for the wounded.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Mar 6 2014 23:08 utc | 3

Rusty Pipes, the icing on the cake of slow genocide in Gaza is provided by the revived Mubarak regime in Egypt. Without Egypt's eager cooperation the situation in Gaza would be considerably improved. There seems little doubt that also co-operating with Israel is the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah which views the tightening of the vice around Gaza and its population with some satisfaction.

Hoarsewhisperer: you remind us how important it is to Israel and the US that Russia's Black Sea base in Sevastapol should be harassed even if those doing the harassing are swastika sporting svoboda-ites.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 7 2014 1:51 utc | 4

Syria is not even on the radar anymore. I wish Abby Martin would comment more about that.

Posted by: Fernando | Mar 7 2014 3:52 utc | 5

The Geopolitical Warfare in the Ukraine and Syria are not far apart …

Cheering a Neocon Led Coup d'Etat in Ukraine by Robert Parry

(Consortion News) - There was always a measure of hypocrisy but Official Washington used to at least pretend to stand for “democracy,” rather than taking such obvious pleasure in destabilizing elected governments, encouraging riots, overturning constitutional systems and then praising violent putsches.

Where Syria Fits in the World’s Oil Supply System

(WSJ) - Syria itself isn’t a major oil producer. The country’s exports have been severely restricted by U.S. and European Union sanctions in recent years and its energy infrastructure has been damaged by unrest. However, it lies in close proximity to pipelines and sea routes that transport much of the world’s crude.

Qatar GCC gas pipeline west through Iraq and Syria to Mediterranean port

(Oil and Energy News) May 15, 2013 - In March, the stakes were raised, especially for Qatar, when Iraq signed an agreement with Iran for a pipeline to bring gas from the latter’s massive South Pars field through Iraq into Syria [link]. It is important to understand that it was this very same pipeline specter that launched Qatar’s design to shape the conflict in Syria, which not coincidentally started about the same time that the initial agreement for the pipeline was reached.

From my diary - Neocon Target: Why Syria? World's Oil Supply System.

Posted by: Oui | Mar 7 2014 11:43 utc | 6

So, Saudi-Arabia has condemned the muslim brotherhodd along with al-nusra and isis as terrorist organizations. I've always thought that every party in syria has its own mercenaries, but never could quite see through who is whose bunch. So this clears it up (a little). Anyway from what I see and what the article says, the Saudis seem to be nervous about the MB gaining influence in their own country.
If I try to take a sober look at the movements in egypt and the ME, and from what I know about the MB _before_ the arab spring it seems that the MB has become or is becoming the main "credible" cultural (sorry, my english is bumpy) movement for the empoverished islamic masses. I really wonder how much they're on a US payroll, too.
I guess US won't be too unhappy about some infighting between various factions but at the end of the day I see the MB as a more genuine force that might in some way stand against the empire (more energetically trying to become one themselves). I think it goes without saying that the saudis are the most corrupt flock of puppets and everyone knows that, so there's not much of a spiritual or cultural impact coming from them (only money I guess).
Qatar and the MB on the other hand seem to be more substantially religious and "trustworthy" (to religious people that is). I'm reading a book about the german peasant wars of the 16th century and the religious movements that came with it. So much seems to remind me of the rhetoric I hear in Syria and Libya. To see SA, the Emirates and Bahrain position against Qatar, they seem to be regarded as a real threat, not just a minor nuisance.

Posted by: peter radiator | Mar 7 2014 15:36 utc | 7

^ Saudis perceive MB as a threat for some years now, and while naming it as a terrorists group is accurate but not without an irony. However Saudis at the same time called ISIS and Nusra as terrorists too - and those are the Saudis supported groups. In other words, this condemnation is just a PR.

Interesting bit, Saudis also named "Saudi Hezbollah" as terrorists. Wait what? Is that a new nickname for Shias in oil rich Saudi region? Designate ethnic group as terrorists and get rid of them?

Posted by: Harry | Mar 8 2014 7:36 utc | 8

The most effective military component of the 'rebels' Al Nusra and a major component of the SNC ( the moslem brotherhood) are now considered as terrorist groups.
Qatar and Turkey are now virtually banned from intervention in Syria.

What is left of the 'good' rebels?

Posted by: Virgile | Mar 8 2014 10:23 utc | 9

Syria is not even on the radar anymore. I wish Abby Martin would comment more about that.

Posted by: Research | Mar 16 2014 16:33 utc | 10

all me cynical, but I believe the Yankees have a big incentive to pretend that their failed/foiled Syria plot is proceeding satisfactorily. After all, Syria is just another pissy little country which should have been bombed back to the Stone Age in August 2013 (by the most cowardly and dishonest Superpower, ever).
But it wasn't. And won't be.f

Posted by: Research | Mar 17 2014 6:48 utc | 11

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