Russia Sending Anti-Aircraft Missiles to Syria, EU Lifting Arms Embargo on Syrian Rebels

Politic like it's 1914?


burning oil field, middle eastern staple of conflict

Russia plans to ship air defense systems to its beleaguered ally Syria, with the deputy foreign minister saying the move ought to "deter some hotheads from considering scenarios that would turn the conflict international with the involvement of outside forces." Israel's indicated it's prepared to stop those shipments from arriving in Syria.

In the meantime, according to the British Foreign Secretary, the European Union has decided to lift its arms embargo against Syrian rebels this Saturday, though the British say they have no plans to arm rebels (the Socialist government in France is more sanguine about sending weapons to Syrian rebels).

But the Syrian opposition may not last long enough to receive weapons from Europe. Russia and the U.S. have been trying to organize a "peace conference" on Syria, which has exposed divisions within the Islamist-dominated opposition. The Syrian National Council is resisting attempts to involve liberal segments of the opposition in the peace conference, putting in jeopardy the entire process.

Senator John McCain, not just a fairweather interventionist, also made a surprise visit to Syria yesterday.

Global powers getting involved on opposing sides of a local conflict in an explosive region. What could possibly go wrong?