An American peace activist says the United States has unleashed “the dogs of war” upon Syria by officially announcing the training and arming of anti-government militants.
Rick Rozoff, manager of the Stop NATO International Network, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Tuesday.
The Pentagon said on Monday that the US will train thousands of “moderate” militants in Turkey to fight against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
According to a recent report in the Hurriyet Daily News, US and Turkish military officials reached an agreement that the Pentagon would begin training and arming some 2,000 insurgents from the so-called Free Syrian Army at a training center in central Turkey in December.
Rozoff said that it is “the latest in a series of gross infringements of international law of the territorial integrity and certainly the national sovereignty of the nation of Syria and its people; and it’s an outrage that demands a global condemnation.”
“In the midst of the horror [that] is being wreaked in Iraq and Syria by the so-called Islamic State, for the US to officially announce that it’s training — what I am sure will be several thousand armed figures in Syria, who knows of which nationality, incidentally, we have to recall that even so-called moderate groups like the Free Syrian Army, certainly the al-Nusra Font, and some others include the mercenaries from around the world, these are what used to be called not too flatteringly but perhaps accurately the dogs of the war, which is to say the paid soldiers of fortune, and extremists of almost of every stripe — that the US/the Pentagon is officially training them and its NATO ally Turkey is hosting the training of these forces, could only further contribute to the destabilization of the Levant – Syria and Iraq,” he added.
“It is an armed belligerence in the war within Syria, that’s arming and training and deploying terrorist forces against a legitimate government, the government that is of Syria,” the antiwar activist said. “Again that’s an outrage and it’s one that in a saner and a better world would be roundly denounced in the United Nations and in the press [and by] the countries around the world.”
Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011. Nearly 200,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by the militants.
The United States and its regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — have been supporting the militants operating inside Syria since the beginning of the crisis.
The Obama administration has already outlined a $500 million program to train and arm 5,000 “moderate” militants in Syria to fight against ISIL and the Assad government, but according to the Pentagon, the number would be something between 12,000 and 15,000.