Yesterday a Syrian helicopter was downed by Syrian “rebels.”
Armed rebels in Syria say they have shot down a military helicopter over the capital, Damascus.
The Free Syrian Army said the aircraft had been firing at people in the north-eastern district of Jobar, and that it had crashed in neighbouring Qabun.
State television confirmed that a helicopter had come down in Qabun.
On Sunday, opposition activists said government forces had massacred more than 300 people during their assault on the south-western suburb of Darayya.
The “rebels” also claim to have shot down a Syrian Mig 23.
Syrian rebels have produced footage of a man they claim is the captured pilot of a fighter jet that went down in the east of the country.
The rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) say they shot a military aircraft down near the Iraqi border.
But state media say the plane crashed because of “technical problems” and a search is under way to find the pilot.
Syria is facing suspension from the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation because of its handling of the crisis.
On the eve of an emergency summit called by Saudi Arabia, foreign ministers meeting for preparatory talks in Jeddah backed a resolution despite objections from President Assad’s ally, Iran.
Confirmation of Syria’s suspension is expected later this week.
Where did these surface to air weapons come from?
Most likely- Libya.
In his haste to score political points, Barack Obama conducted an air war on Libya in order to drive out Muammar Gaddafi. Obama wanted desperately to avoid putting US troops on the ground in Libya, but there was an enormous cost for that-
As many as 20,000 shoulder-mounted Stinger missiles went missing following the chaos in Libya.
Washington: News reports appear to confirm weeks of worries by senior White House and congressional officials that large numbers of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles have gone missing in Libya.
ABC News is reporting that a secret White House meeting discussed the disappearance of 20,000 “portable, heat-seeking” missiles.
They quote Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the National Security Council, saying that a State Department expert “is on the ground in Libya,” along with five specialists, to work with the new government to find, secure and, if necessary, destroy the missiles.
Libya possessed large stocks of Grinch SA-24 and SA-7s shoulder-launched missiles. The Grinch is a much more sophisticated and effective missile than the SA-7. The Grinch is considered similar to the famous Stinger anti-aircraft missile that helped the Afghans defeat the Soviets.
AOL D readers will remember that the White House’s top counterterrorism official, John Brennan, made it very clear several weeks ago that the White House worried al Qaeda will get its hands on the missiles. There were already reports then of large numbers of missiles being looted as the Qaddafi regime collapsed.
A NY Times article from earlier this month reported that the “rebels” have a full surface to air missile system
For the first time since the conflict in Syria began last year, an activist opposed to President Bashar al-Assad has publicly presented possible evidence that the antigovernment forces have obtained a heat-seeking, shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile.
The photograph at the top of this post, which was published on the Facebook page of Obaida Elwani on Tuesday, shows a complete SA-7 system, an early member of the Stinger class of weapons.
The image clearly shows the missile tube, its battery unit and the grip stock, which ties the system together and makes it possible to fire. Previously, at least one SA-7 missile tube and battery had been documented in the hands of anti-Assad forces. But this is the first time an entire system has been shown.
And the article made an eerily accurate prediction:
Whether the SA-7 in the photograph is functional, or how effective an SA-7 would be against Syrian military aircraft, is also unknown. The SA-7 is an old system; its heat-seeking head can be thwarted by countermeasures on many modern military aircraft. And fighters planning to use the system effectively would need training, including on how to select the best angles for attacking aircraft; it is not possible to tell from this image whether the system is in even reasonably competent hands. That said, Syria’s military helicopters, judging from the abundant footage of their activities in recent weeks, could be vulnerable to such weapons – even to old variants like the SA-7, which would also reasonably be expected to change Syrian pilots’ perceptions of the risks of sorties into areas where rebels with SA-7s are present.
This is a frightening new episode as the “rebels” in Syria are working in cooperation with Al Qaida:
The evidence is mounting that Syria has become a magnet for Sunni extremists, including those operating under the banner of Al Qaeda. An important border crossing with Turkey that fell into Syrian rebels’ hands last week, Bab al-Hawa, has quickly become a jihadist congregating point.
The presence of jihadists in Syria has accelerated in recent days in part because of a convergence with the sectarian tensions across the country’s long border in Iraq. Al Qaeda, through an audio statement, has just made an undisguised bid to link its insurgency in Iraq with the revolution in Syria, depicting both as sectarian conflicts — Sunnis versus Shiites.
Iraqi officials said the extremists operating in Syria are in many cases the very same militants striking across their country. “We are 100 percent sure from security coordination with Syrian authorities that the wanted names that we have are the same wanted names that the Syrian authorities have, especially within the last three months,” Izzat al-Shahbandar — a close aide to the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki — said in an interview on Tuesday. “Al Qaeda that is operating in Iraq is the same as that which is operating in Syria,” he said.
And to be clear, Barack Obama is supporting this:
(Reuters) – President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, U.S. sources familiar with the matter said.
Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the rebels oust Assad.
This and other developments signal a shift toward growing, albeit still circumscribed, support for Assad’s armed opponents – a shift that intensified following last month’s failure of the U.N. Security Council to agree on tougher sanctions against the Damascus government.
The White House is for now apparently stopping short of giving the rebels lethal weapons, even as some U.S. allies do just that.
Bashar Assad is a bad guy, but as in Egypt, we are making the situation worse. We are creating another fertile land for the growth of Al Qaida and terrorism.
Stingers falling into the hands of Al Qaida has been called the “Nightmare” scenario.
That nightmare is here.
So when it happens
you will know who to thank.