September 30, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - US officials have threatened Syria and its allies - including Russia specifically - that the collapse of a US-proposed ceasefire will lead "Gulf states" to arm militants with shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles.
One U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss American policy, said Washington has kept large numbers of such man-portable air defense systems, or MANPADS, out of Syria by uniting Western and Arab allies behind channeling training and infantry weapons to moderate opposition groups while it pursued talks with Moscow.However, in reality, ambitions to down Russian and Syrian aircraft over Syria are not Saudi in origin, but rather come from the highest levels of policy and politics within Washington. Washington-based corporate-financier policy think tank, the Brookings Institution, in a paper titled, "What to do when containing the Syrian crisis has failed," would admit (emphasis added):
But frustration with Washington has intensified, raising the possibility that Gulf allies or Turkey will no longer continue to follow the U.S. lead or will turn a blind eye to wealthy individuals looking to supply MANPADS to opposition groups.
"The Saudis have always thought that the way to get the Russians to back off is what worked in Afghanistan 30 years ago – negating their air power by giving MANPADS to the mujahideen," said a second U.S. official.
We must also be clever about employing various options for no-fly zones: We cannot shoot down an airplane without knowing if it’s Russian or Syrian, but we can identify those aircraft after the fact and destroy Syrian planes on the ground if they were found to have barrel-bombed a neighborhood, for example. These kinds of operations are complicated, no doubt, and especially with Russian aircraft in the area—but I think we have made a mistake in tying ourselves in knots over the issue, since there are options we can pursue.In a 2015 Fox News interview, US Senator John McCain would admit:
I might do what we did in Afghanistan many years ago, to give those guys the ability to shoot down those planes. That equipment is available.
When asked to clarify his statement as to who would be shooting down the planes, McCain would answer:
The Free Syrian Army, just like the Afghans shot down the Russian...In essence then, the US is merely laundering anti-air weapons and the ambition to use them through Saudi Arabia, as it has done so with all the weapons, terrorists, vehicles, money, and support used to trigger and perpetuate the ongoing war in Syria - with the Saudis at best, merely partners.