by Tony Cartalucci
July 22, 2012 – “The Free Syrian Army ruined our lives,” reports BBC in their article, “Syria crisis: Iraqis flee ‘sectarian violence’ in Damascus.” Refugees returning to Iraq from Syria undulated a BBC reporter with accounts of why they’ve fled, citing sectarian violence perpetrated by the Western backed, armed, and funded so-called “Free Syrian Army” (FSA). Accounts reaffirm that indeed foreign fighters are amongst the FSA’s ranks, including Iraqi sectarian extremists serving as commanders.
Reports from Libya earlier this year confirmed that hundreds of Libyan fighters as well as NATO-supplied weapons and cash were pledged to the FSA by Al Qaeda’s Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) commander, Abdul Hakim Belhaj.
These accounts of sectarian violence are by no means the first. Bloomberg conceded recently that “the sectarian civil war between Syria’s Sunnis and Alawites that the world had long feared has begun,” the manifestation of warnings by international geopolitical analysts signaled as early as 2007.
It is admittedly under the current Syrian government that Syria’s large populations of ethnic and religious minorities, particularly Shi’ia Muslims, moderate Sunnis, Christians, and Druze have been protected from the inevitable sectarian onslaught by extremists cultivated by the West. In 2007, in Hersh’s “The Redirection,” the following foreshadowing to Bloomberg’s “sectarian civil war” was given:
“Robert Baer, a former longtime C.I.A. agent in Lebanon, has been a severe critic of Hezbollah and has warned of its links to Iranian-sponsored terrorism. But now, he told me, “we’ve got Sunni Arabs preparing for cataclysmic conflict, and we will need somebody to protect the Christians in Lebanon. It used to be the French and the United States who would do it, and now it’s going to be Nasrallah and the Shiites” –The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)
Now, demonstratively, we see exactly this feared onslaught manifesting itself in Syria, in particular against Christians as indicated in LA Times’ “Church fears ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Christians in Homs, Syria,” and more recently in USA Today’s distorted, but still telling, “Christians in Syria live in uneasy alliance with Assad, Alawites.” Even the massacre in Houla, seems to echo of this 2007 warning, bearing all the hallmarks of sectarian extremists like Al Qaeda.