The situation in Syria is no longer an Issue between Bashar al Assad and the people of Syria but A Sunni-Shiite gang fight with regional implications. This fight in Syria has taken a new turn. The Syrian civil uprisings that ballooned into government protests has escalated into a civil war and will not be like the Crips and the Bloods trading bullets in Compton but a battle of religious zealots bent on total cleansing of the opposition. No cops or restrictions to hinder the carnage and no UN peace keepers to document atrocities, the only government intervention will be that of Iran and Syria backing the Shiite side and the US, UK and the Saudis backing the Sunnis via proxy.
The Americans have been supplying weapons through the countries of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the Iranians have been supplying light and heavy weapons purchased from Russia to the al-Assad government since the conflict started. Iran just this week (8/28/12) admitted publicly that fighters have been dispatched to Syria to fight on behalf of Bashar al-Assad's forces. Gen. Salar Abnoush, commander of the IRGC’s Saheb al-Amr unit, spoke to a group of army volunteers that Iran is currently sending commanders and foot soldiers from its elite corps to fight in “every aspect of the war in Syria, military and cultural.” This was the first time that a Iranian government official admitted to Iran’s military involvement in the Syrian conflict, all claims of Iran's intervention have been denied up until this point.
US Sectary of State Hillary Clinton repeatedly denies supplying weapons to the anti-government fighters, however she will admit to “humanitarian assistance”. The assistance is now widely known to be state of the art communications equipment, night vision equipment and clandestine surveillance through drown and satellite intelligence. There is no reason NOT to believe that special forces or spies??? from many countries are sprinkled throughout the region. Countries with any interest in the MANA region will include the US, UK, Israel, France, Jordan, Turkey, Russia, China, Venezuela, Iran and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. All these countries have a financial and strategic interest in the aria weather it is oil and gas, domestic security or the suppression of terror franchises like Hamas, Hezbollah or al-Qaida. Clinton is pushing for direct military intervention. First she is advocating a no-fly zone in the north bordering Turkey. Second is boots on the ground to secure the bio/chem weapons. In the event that al Assad's WMDs are employed by government forces, in danger of being compromised by an outside force like al-Qaida or the stockpiles moved for any reason all security council members agree that intervention is necessary. Right now with the Russians having a force in place it would seam that they would be the most likely force to take control of the weapons.
As far as the no-fly zone strategy Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said that while such a step is under study, it is “not on the front burner.” Well Mr Panetta needs to have a conversation with his french counterpart Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian as he seams to be real keen on the idea. The problem with restricting Syria's airspace is that several steps will have to come into play. First a strike on the air defenses will be necessary, second a strike on the Syrian airfields crippling the air force's capability to put planes in the air. Third, one and two are acts of war and the president will need congressional approval for a operation that invades a countries sovereign territory. If the congress gives consent then it is a 100% certainty that Iran will retaliate against any American assets in the region as well as Israel. The Russians don't think it is a real swift idea either. Sergei Lavrov the Russian Foreign Minister stated that any action like a no-fly zone in Syria is unacceptable to his country "This will be a violation of sovereignty if it included Syrian territory," Lavrov implying that the implementation of such a unilateral action would violate international law. As far as the bio/chem weapons are concerned the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said that his government was working closely with Damascus to ensure that its WMD's remains under firm control. Gatilov reports that he has received guarantees that the stockpiles will not be used or relocated.
Since the Russians and Chinese refuse to cast a vote in favor of any military intervention in Syria the UN security council has their hands tied. Since any UN sanctioned military force is not possible due to the two decenters, than why not a proxy war? Seams like a good idea, right! Islamic extremists from all over the expansive AFPAC/MENA aria are flocking to Syria to take up arms against their reviled Muslim rivals. The hatred between the Sunnis and Shiites gos back to 680 A.D. When Hussein (a Shiite), found himself surrounded by a larger Ummayad force (Sunnis) at Karbala, in present day Iraq. With only a handful of supporters to defend him, Hussein and 72 of his men were captured and beheaded, and their women taken captive. The battle was the defining moment in the split between Sunnis and Shiites. These folks really know how to hold a grudge! Iran is 90% Shia and has 15 thousand troops on root to the fight, the Syrian leadership is predominately Alawite a Shia offshoot and the Syrian Sunni solders are still going AWOL. The unified countries of the security council decided to exploit the rift between the two sides and give them the opportunity and the guns to wipe each other out on the Syrian field of battle.
This strategy has been done before, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 with the aim to reinforce the communist government structure that had been set up by an Afghan general who was killed in a coup the previous year. Radical Islamic fighters struck out against the invading Soviets and bogged down the red army for years. The CIA looking to take advantage of the situation started to funnel money and weapons into the hands of the Afghan resistance fighters known as the Mujaheddin. The CIA working through the Pakistani government supplied modern weapons like American Stinger missiles, Chines AK-47 rifles, grenade launchers and anti-tank weapons. The Mujaheddin morphed into the Taliban and Osama Bin Leiden’s al-Qaida. The CIA achieved their goal of forcing the soviet Union into a financially week position through the war. The Soviet/Afghan war was a leading contributor to the fall of the Soviet Union. How ever indirectly the CIA also contributed to the growth and propagation of modern terrorism and the ascension of Osama Bin Leiden as it's titular commander.
The proxy war effort that is being organized in Syria is a very dangerous situation. At some point their must be an intervention by a nation state that is capable of disposing of the WMD hazard that was created by the Syrian government. If at any point these weapons become accessible to the radical Islamic extremists it is anybody’s guess where they will end up being used, and they will be used.
With Iran increasing their military presents in Syria things will escalate and the death toll will rise sharply. Even though 200 thousand Syrians have fled the country millions remain and the radical zealots mixing among the population will directly and indirectly involve the average citizen in this gang fight creating a massive amount of collateral death and destruction.