The sudden resignation of UN peace envoy Kofi Annan from the peace efforts circle in Syria, which evidently materialized under duress from the US government, has caused extreme joy in Washington officials who now see this as a sign that the international community is prone to accept that Syrian President Bashar Assad had to go and that the peace efforts would eventually reach a cul-de-sac.
Likewise, the move has caused frustration in those who had pinned their hopes on the possible fruition of these efforts and those who had been resistant to see Syria as another potential Iraq for US military expeditions.
The Syrian foreign ministry expressed “regrets” at Annan’s announcement, saying, “The countries seeking to destabilize Syria are the ones that impeded and continue to impede the mission.”
Russia expressed sorrow over Annan’s departure. Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said on Thursday his country regrets Annan’s decision to step down.
“We understand that it’s his decision,” Churkin told reporters. “We regret that he chose to do so. We have supported very strongly Kofi Annan’s efforts. He has another month to go, and I hope this month is going to be used as effectively as possible under these very difficult circumstances.”
Besides, Annan’s resignation has afforded Washington and its Western allies the latitude to heap blame on China and Russia for what they claim to be an obstruction of democracy in Syria.
The United States on Thursday blamed China and Russia for the resignation of UN peace envoy Kofi Annan on the refusal of the two countries to back resolutions targeting Syrian President Bashar Assad.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “His resignation highlights the failure in the United Nations Security Council of Russia and China to support meaningful resolutions against Assad that would have held Assad accountable for his failure to abide by the Annan plan.”
“Those vetoes . . . were highly regrettable and placed both Russia and China on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of the Syrian people.”
For its part, Germany on Thursday said Kofi Annan’s resignation was partly due to China and Russia’s opposition to sanctions on the Damascus regime. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle also said President Bashar Assad had not lived up to its vows to implement Annan’s peace plan.
“It is clear that Kofi Annan relinquished his mandate in part because of the deadlock in the UN Security Council, of which Russia and China” are permanent members, a statement said.
“It is high time that Russia and China stop shielding” Assad, it said.
Annan’s words upon his abrupt resignation are fraught with secret fear, “When the Syrian people desperately need action, there continues to be finger pointing and name calling in the Security Council,” Annan said. “It is impossible for me or anyone to compel the Syrian government and also the opposition to take the steps to bring about the political process. As an envoy, I can’t want peace more than the protagonists, more than Security Council or the international community, for that matter.”
Now with Annan’s resignation and the emerging void to be filled by a third party in order to resolve the crisis in Syria, Washington seems to be gaining a firm foothold in the Security Council to push for a military invasion.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague has said the UK will increase the assistance it is giving to Syrian opposition forces in the coming weeks. In other words, the UK has already been giving out financial and military help to the insurgents in Syria.
British media confirm that military chiefs in London are already drawing up contingency plans if the UK ever decides to deploy troops to Syria and that the former Special Air Service (SAS) soldiers are training the insurgents in Syria in military tactics from weapons handling, leadership and the use of communications systems to tackle the Syrian government.
Colonel Richard Kemp, who led UK forces in Afghanistan, says the escalating civil war makes it very likely that the West would step in. It is estimated by military analysts that at least 300,000 troops would be needed to engage in a military intervention in Syria.
Col Kemp said, “We do not always choose which wars to fight—sometimes wars choose us. Up to the point of Assad’s collapse, we are most likely to see a continuation or intensification of the under-the-radar options of financial support, arming and advising the rebels, clandestine operations and perhaps cyberwarfare from the West.”
In another development, US President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing US support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar Assad and his government.
Known as an intelligence finding, Obama’s order, which was approved earlier this year, allows the CIA and other US agencies to provide support that could help the rebels oust Assad.
The White House has reportedly set aside USD 25 million for aid to Syrian insurgents, the State Department said on Wednesday.
The Obama administration initially allocated USD 15 million to help the Syrian rebels. However, some time ago, it added another USD 10 million to the amount available, department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said.
“The 25 million dollar number actually is the number we’re working from,” Ventrell told a regular daily news briefing.
A US government source acknowledged that in the light of the presidential finding, Washington was collaborating with a secret command center operated by Turkey and its allies.
Interestingly, the West has undergone a mystical experience in defining who the rebels really were. Until a few weeks or months ago, they described them as “a disorganized, almost chaotic, rabble” but now that they have entered into an unbreakable alliance with their pseudo-enemy al-Qaeda. They have fallen to claiming that the rebels have made “noticeable improvements in terms of coherence and effectiveness in the past few weeks.”
On July 27, 2012, Reuters reported that, along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Turkey had built a secret nerve center in Adana, a city in southern Turkey about 60 miles from the Syrian border to “help direct vital military and communications support to Assad’s opponents.”
The Turkish city is also home to Incirlik, a US air base where US military and intelligence agencies maintain a substantial presence.
In alliance with the West and Israel, the Saudi-led al-Qaeda elements have already started an all-out proxy war in Syria in the high hopes that the government of Bashar Assad will meet its doom soon. However, this is a figment of their imagination which they have nursed over the years and the fire they have blazed will certainly engulf the entire region, including Israel, the US love child.
Dr. Ismail Salami is the author of ‘Iran, Cradle of Civilization.’ He writes extensively on the US and Middle East issues and his articles have been translated into a number of languages.