Obama supports Syrian rebel groups that pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | DECEMBER 12, 2012

The U.S. president, Barack Obama, recognized the new National Coalition Forces of the Revolution and the Syrian opposition (CNFROS) as the “legitimate representative” of the Syrian people. Obama affirmed his support for a coalition of rebels that have officially pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda-sponsored terrorist groups responsible for the killing of innocent civilians in their fight to bring down current Syrian president Bashar al-Assad

“We have decided that the Syrian opposition coalition is sufficiently inclusive and representative enough to reflect the Syrian population, who regard it as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people opposed to the Assad regime,” Obama said in excerpts from the interview given to ABC News and that will be broadcast in full on Friday.

The president described this change in policy towards Syria as “a big step” but cautioned, however, that “obviously, with that recognition come responsibilities.”

Part of those responsibilities, Obama said, is “to ensure that the rebel groups organize effectively” hosting all parties and that “they commit to a political transition that respects the rights of women and minorities.”

For Obama, the recognition of CNFROS as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, after almost two years of armed conflict, is “a big step” in the framework of the international community’s efforts to end the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The U.S. support for CNFROS comes after Obama has been criticized for allegedly not responding strongly enough to the conflict in Syria, which analysts say is part of a new phase of pressure to isolate Assad U.S. allies in Europe have also officially recognized the terrorist rebel coalition as the representatives of the Syrian people.

Obama made the announcement on the eve of the fourth meeting of the “Group of Friends of the Syrian people”, a multi=stake holder meeting that will take place tomorrow in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh and will serve as another test of the legitimacy of the CNFROS.

Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, today canceled her trip to this international conference due to a stomach virus, said hes spokesman, Philippe Reines. The United States will be represented by Undersecretary of State William Burns.

The U.S. government announced today that it has added the Al Nusra Front, an extremist group opposed to the Assad government to the coalition, even though this group is linked to Al- Qaeda in Iraq. Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury Department today announced sanctions against two leaders of the Front Nusra, precisely because of their links with Al Qaeda in Iraq, and against two pro-government militias.

According to the Treasury, the Waterfront Nusra is responsible for more than 600 terrorist attacks in Syria since November 2011 and has killed and wounded hundreds of Syrians to “hijack the struggle of the Syrian opposition to increase their own extremist ideology. Not all who are participating in the fight on the ground against Assad are people with whom we feel comfortable. There are some that I think have adopted an extremist agenda, an anti-American agenda, and we will sure make a clear distinction between those elements, ” said Obama.

According to observers, Obama’s decision is an important political and psychological boost support to groups seeking to overthrow the Syrian regime, although it is not clear that the Washington government will offer financial or military support in the short term. That is not after officially supporting the group as a coalition, because Washington has been providing cash and weapons to various rebel groups since before the conflict started back in 2011.

Before Obama made his expected announcement before the cameras of ABC, UK, France, Turkey and several U.S. allies in the Arab world had already given their recognition to CNFROS last month.

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United States, Arab League Bless new Syrian Opposition

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | NOVEMBER 13, 2012

The U.S. government expressed support on Monday for the new Syrian opposition alliance, dominated by the Syrian National Council (CNS) and in which there are several important groups, and said it will work with them to continue providing humanitarian aid to the population. The U.S. itself had intervened days ago to question the leadership of the CNS, and called for more Syrian groups to get involved in what seems to be the transition government that will take power after Bashar al-Assad is removed from power.

The deputy spokesman of the State Department, Mark Toner, provided a statement in which he praised the Syrian people for the formation of the so-called National Coalition for the Forces of the Revolution and the Syrian opposition (CNFROS), agreed during a summit held in Doha (Qatar). Besides including representatives from the CNS, this new group also opened its doors to radical Islamist members of organizations linked to American made al-Qaeda.

The statement gives U.S. support for the new coalition to “trace a path to end the bloody government of Assad and the beginning of the future peaceful, democratic and fair to all the people of Syria deserve.” “We will work with the National Coalition to ensure that our non-lethal humanitarian aid and assistance serves the needs of the Syrian people,” Toner said. The spokesperson also said that the U.S. congratulated the Government of Qatar for his “strong leadership” and support of the Doha summit from which the new opposition alliance emerged over the last few days. This new coalition will remain dominated by the CNS but will have as one its main aims to end the division among opposition groups.

One of the key groups that did not even participate in the Doha talks is the National Coordination Council (NCC), which has a strong presence in the Syrian territory and are more likely to negotiate with the regime. According to the draft of the final agreement, the CNFROS will under no circumstance negotiate or talk with the regime led by Assad. It also provides for the formation of a transitional government after it gets international recognition.

More blessings from the Middle East

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was the first group of countries to recognize the new Syrian opposition coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. This is the typical modus operandi used by opposition groups who gain the support from western aggressors to disavow democratically elected governments. Hours later, the Arab League, which suspended Syria’s membership for months, also decided to hold a meeting to recognize the newly created alliance.

Arab foreign ministers called on the rest of the current opposition to join the newly formed National Coalition formed by the forces of revolution and the Syrian opposition, and urged them to work to solve all the needs of the Syrian society “without exception or discrimination. ” Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, among others, confirmed their support for the move to change leadership in Damascus.

“The GCC Member States declare their recognition of the National Coalition of Syrian opposition forces and the revolution (…) as the legitimate representative of the Syrian brotherly people,” said a statement released by the GCC Secretary General, to Abdellatif Zayani.

The text explains that the Arab League will aid the opposition and its western supporters by providing all necessary so the alliance carries out the aspirations of the Syrian people, with the hope that [the group] is a step towards a speedy transfer of power”. The complete support given to the Syrian opposition means that the combination of terrorist groups already operating on Syrian territory will now have economic and military aid from Syrian neighbors such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Both countries had already recognized the rebels and expressed their desire to have the international community recognize the coalition.

The speed with which the GCC has responded to the formation of the opposition coalition, just a day before in Doha meeting is no surprise. Since the beginning of the western orchestrated Syrian revolt back in March 2011, this group has been very critical of the regime of Bashar al-Assad and has not hidden its preference to have him ousted. The nation of Qatar even offered to give Assad political asylum should he want to simply flee the country. Assad was very clear that as a Syrian man, he would live and die in his country.

Most Middle Eastern regimes, democratically elected or not prefer a weakened Syria because of Assad’s alliance with Iran. The move to supposedly help Assad flee the country are far from being good will gestures. Since Hafez al-Assad, Bashar’s father was the Syrian leader the rest of the Arab Peninsula have seen Syria as a potential powder keg but it wasn’t until now, after the West decided that it was time to take another country over, that the rest of the Arab nations threw their full support behind the opposition. Both the Arab countries and their western allies are looking forward to weakening Syrian and destroying the Assad regime to that it can be taken over by Islamic radicals. Once Syria falls, if it does, the West and the rest of the Arab countries will then focus their attention of the last bastion of opposition: Iran.

What the Arab League members do not seem to envision, is that provided that both Syria and Iran fall, they might just be the next ones in line.

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