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10 Dec, 2016 05:46

‘US to hand out arms like Christmas cookies to preserve terrorist assets in Syria’

President Obama’s waiver of restrictions on supplying arms to militant groups in Syria looks like a desperate attempt to compensate for the loss of Aleppo and preserve terrorist assets elsewhere, former US diplomat Jim Jatras told RT.

RT: How might Obama’s waiving of current restrictions on assistance to forces in Syria affect the situation there?

Jim Jatras: I don’t see how it can make things better. You would think especially with Aleppo about to be recaptured by the Syrian Army, the United States, the Obama administration, would be looking for some way to wind this down, to talk to the Russians about a common front against terrorist groups. Instead it looks like President Obama is even loosening the standards for putting weapons into the hands of people that we don’t even pretend are “moderates,” like that fiasco with four or five fighters that they were able to produce some months back.

Now, we’re talking about throwing weapons out there like Christmas cookies to people that we know are terrorists. But we’re going to pretend, that they are going to be directed against Daesh, against ISIS, ignoring the fact that virtually all of these groups share the same Salafist ideology, have the same goals, the same terrorist methodology. So none of them have problems with transferring their weapons to somebody else. But the fact that the very people we give the weapons to are probably terrorists that have no real distinction between themselves and Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

RT: Why has this decision been made? What’s the aim?

JJ: I think even specialists looking at this are somewhat puzzled. Especially, remember, President Obama is doing this publicly. What, we haven’t been giving weapons to various terrorist groups in Syria for the last years? Now he’s signing an order that, at least on its face, broadens the purview of the groups to which those weapons will be provided. How does that contribute to anything that makes any sense?

The only thing I can think of is that there’s something they are trying to salvage, in terms of maybe some kind of terrorist-controlled zone in Northern Syria along the Turkish border, something in Eastern Syria, something to compensate for the loss of Aleppo. And that perhaps we are being pressured or even threatened by our so-called allies, like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, that have been supporting these groups, including, by the way, Daesh itself, over the past few years.

READ MORE: Weapons can end up with terrorists now US military aid restrictions to Syria lifted – Kremlin

RT: A draft resolution demanding an immediate end to hostilities in Syria has been overwhelmingly voted for at the UN General Assembly. Will it apply to the US and Turkey too? Will they follow it?

JJ: No, of course not. And let’s remember the draft resolution in the General Assembly was the compensation for the fact that the US-proxy sponsored resolution couldn’t get through the Security Council. Obviously, Washington and the governments that the Obama administration is working with would like some kind of a ceasefire. They were hoping to save the terrorists in Aleppo – that didn’t work. But they are obviously trying to preserve terrorist assets anywhere they can.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.