US Decision to Lift Ban on Arming Syria Militants ‘Challenge’ against Russia: Analyst
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A British journalist and political analyst said the US move to lift some restrictions on arms supplies to the so-called “moderate rebels” in Syria is a “direct challenge” against Russia in the Arab country.
“We have been hearing recently that Obama has been threatening to lift the embargo on supplying weapons to what is considered the ‘moderate rebels’ in Syria. We have to remember that America up until now has been completely unable to distinguish the moderate rebels from the extremists in militant factions like Nusra Front,” Vanessa Beeley, who just returned from Aleppo, told the Tasnim News Agency.
Earlier, the Obama administration granted a waiver to arming and supporting foreign fighters, stating that the move is “essential to the national security interests.”
Asked if the decision could be dangerous to the Russian Air Force, she said, “This is direct challenge to Russia inside Syria because these weapons are capable of shooting down not only military aircraft but passenger jets and we know that the sky of Syria is populated by particularly Russian passenger jets.”
Beeley went on to add that the move demonstrates very clearly that America is still intent upon its regime change agenda inside Syria.
"It is still intent upon enforcing its geopolitical objectives inside Syria, including of course ensuring the security of Israel in the region. And it is intent upon provoking and challenging Russia on Syrian soil in the region.”
Elsewhere in the interview, the British journalist referred to the election of Donald Trump as next US president and said, “If we look at the election of president Trump, we see that at the moment he is very clearly stating that he is against interventionism globally and that he is more focused upon in his words ‘making America great again’.”
“But until his inauguration, until we see what his administration will consist of and in which direction they are going, it is hard to say whether they will have a positive effect upon American foreign policy in Syria. And certainly, with Barack Obama’s final actions, we do not see any throttling back in their aggression towards both Syria, and Russia and their allies inside Syria and of course prioritizing the security of Israel in the region,” she continued.
Also, Beeley hailed the recent liberation of Syria’s northwestern city of Aleppo as a “tremendous victory on many fronts for not only president Assad, but for the Syrian Arab army, for its allies in Syria, notably, Hezbollah, Iran and Russia.”
“We have seen the marginalization and the muting the oppression of the voices of majority of the Syrian people. The 1.5 million Syrian civilians living in west Aleppo who have lost 11 thousand of their children, their fathers, their mothers, their relatives, in the Nusra Front-led bombardment and sniping and suicide bombing of the western areas of Aleppo in collective punishment for these peoples’ resistance against what is effectively a US coalition invasion of Syria by proxy militant and terrorist forces in the case of Aleppo and pretty much across Syria; they are led by the Nusra Front terrorists who are of course al-Qaeda in Syria,” she added.
“So, those voices in west Aleppo had been ignored for the last four and a half, five, years. But not only have their voices been ignored, under the humanitarian pretext, the international community the NGOs, the UN, the United States, the UK, the EU, Turkey have ignored the hundred and ten thousand plus civilians that have recently been liberated from east Aleppo. Their voices were not being heard, they are now being heard... so what Aleppo has represented is that finally the Syrian voices are being heard, the other civilians who have been released from east Aleppo are being heard, the voices are being broadcast, not by the mainstream corporate media, but by the independent media, those who have consistently supported international law, the sovereignty of the nation of Syria and the self-determination of the Syrian people, their right to determine their own future.”
On December 15, Syria had announced the liberation of Aleppo, with President Bashar al-Assad praising the victory as “history in the making and worthy of more than the word ‘congratulations’.”
The Syrian security forces encircled Aleppo on July 17 after closing off the last terrorist-controlled route into the city.
Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL), currently controlling parts of it.
According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.
Watch the interview below: