March 2, 2016

Opening Pandora's Box In Syria

"Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad."

"Since the accession of King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud last year, Saudi national security policy has become much more aggressive and risk-prone than it was under his predecessor, King Abdullah. The war in Yemen, also intended to weaken and humiliate a pro-Iranian militia, is the best example of Riyadh's new assertiveness. It's also an excellent example for the proposition that it's easy to start a war and hard to end one." - Bruce Riedel, "What is Riyadh's endgame in Lebanon?" Al-Monitor, February 29, 2016. 

"We yesterday described what looks like a Turkish-Saudi plan to raise a Salafi-Sunni militia in north Lebanon to then attack nearby Syrian regions held by the Syrian government. Such a new front of the conflict in Syria would necessarily involve fighting in Lebanon as the Lebanese Shia Hizbollah movement is actively supporting the Syrian government. The plot would destabilize Lebanon, probably throwing it back into the brutal times of the Lebanese civil war.

There was no confirmation of such a plot yesterday, just several signs for it like the ship with weapons from Turkey that was caught by the Greek coastguard on its way to north Lebanon.

The existence of such a plan was confirmed today. We still can no say for sure that the plot is part of a U.S. "Plan B" to achieve a violent "regime change" in Syria, but we know that the U.S. is informed about the plan." - b, "Kerry's "Plan B" - Attack Syria From Lebanon - With Saudi and Turkish Help" Moon of Alabama, March 2, 2016.

"If Saudi Arabia cannot even win on the battlefield in neighboring Yemen, with fighting even spilling over the border into Saudi territory, it is unlikely it will do any better against the battle-hardened, better organized and better equipped forces of the Syrian Arab Army, let alone Russia's presence in the country. Clearly Saudi Arabia's phantom military exercises and posturing are cover for something else. It is likely that anything that goes over the border into Syria under the Saudi flag will be anything other than actual Saudi forces. Remember those Al Qaeda and IS supply lines mentioned earlier? What if the fighters and equipment pouring into Syria simply changed their black flags to Saudi Arabia's?" - Ulson Gunnar, "Saudi Arabia’s “Northern Thunder,” Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing" NEO, March 2, 2016.