June 13, 2012 – Influx of Heavy Arms Pushes Syria Toward Civil War: With evidence that powerful new weapons are flowing to both the Syrian government and opposition fighters, the bloody uprising in Syria has thrust the Obama administration into an increasingly difficult position as the conflict shows signs of mutating into a full-fledged civil war. Pictured below, Rebel fighters near Aleppo on Tuesday:
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Tuesday that the United States believed that Russia was shipping attack helicopters to Syria that President Bashar al-Assad could use to escalate his government’s deadly crackdown on civilians and the militias battling his rule. Her comments reflected rising frustration with Russia, which has continued to supply weapons to its major Middle Eastern ally despite an international outcry over the government’s brutal crackdown. Pictured below, an image released by the Syrian opposition’s Shaam News Network showed smoke rising from a building in Homs last week:
The fierce government assaults from the air are partly a response to improved tactics and weaponry among the opposition forces, which have recently received more powerful antitank missiles from Turkey, with the financial support of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, according to members of the Syrian National Council, the main opposition group in exile, and other activists.
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(Credits: Photos – the Associated Press and Getty Images, Narrative – Mark Landler from Washington and Neil MacFarquhar from Beirut, Lebanon for the New York Times).
The Master of Disaster