“The last thing anyone wants to see is al-Qaeda gaining a foothold in southern Syria next to Israel. That is a doomsday scenario,” said a U.S. diplomat in Jordan who was not authorized to speak publicly on the subject.”
--Why isn’t the United States working full-time to stop the arms flows to the Islamists by pressuring the Saudis and Qataris (perhaps the point of Secretary of State John Kerry’s trip but hardly effective) and to rein in Turkey’s enthusiasm for a Syrian Islamist regime?
--These proposed buffer zones would not receive Western air support or international forces. --Israel has the experience of maintaining a buffer zone in southern Lebanon for years by supporting a militia group. It succeeded for a long time by sending in Israeli troops covertly and taking casualties. In the end, rightly or wrongly, the effort was given up. Now Hizballah—the equivalent though not the friend of the Syrian Salafists—is sitting on the border and already one war has been fought. It should be noted that Israel has by far the most defensible border with Syria.
Obama administration officials have expressed repeated concern that some of about 20,000 of the weapons, called MANPADS, have made their way from the arsenals of former Libyan dictator Moammar (sic) Gaddafi to Syria.
This number seems to be far too high. Still, these SA-7 weapons systems are very dangerous and might be the most technologically impressive arms ever to fall into the hands of terrorists. Once Libya’s regime fell (another U.S. foreign policy production), these weapons were grabbed by the Libyan rebels and sold to the Saudis and Qataris, who supplied them, respectively, to the Syrian Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood.
And just imagine the very real possibility of commercial passenger planes being shot at, or even shot down, by terrorists armed with a weapon they obtained because of U.S. government ineptitude or even involvement.