Photo Credit: Courtesy Aaron Klein
Aaron Klein

The second request, which is less likely to be accommodated, is for the imposition of a NATO-backed No Fly Zone in Syria. Such a zone would restrain Assad’s advances against the rebels.

With the Ukraine crisis ongoing, the Obama administration may be more motivated to act in Syria, where the stakes are high for Russia.

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Unless there is a major change on the ground, Assad is widely expected to win the rebel-led insurgency that has been targeting his regime for the last three years.

 

NATO Campaign In Libya Benefited Boko Haram

The Islamic terrorist organization Boko Haram has been made all the more dangerous by weapons it acquired during the looting of Libyan reserves after NATO, backed by the U.S., deposed Muammar Khaddafi’s regime.

Shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles now in Boko Haram’s possession are a potential threat to commercial airliners in West Africa, dramatically increasing the jihadist group’s destructive impact.

The Nigeria-based Boko Haram group has been the center of worldwide headlines after it abducted at least 276 girls last month from the northeastern town of Chibok, which is known to have a sizeable Christian community. Last week, the group released a video purporting to show the missing girls and claiming they had converted to Islam.

Founded in 2009, Boko Haram’s profile as a terrorist group has risen rapidly.

Its rise may have been accelerated by weaponry it acquired as a consequence of NATO and the Obama administration’s efforts in Khaddafi’s ouster.

The largest terrorist looting of Man-Portable-Air-Defense-Systems, or MANPADS, took place immediately after the military campaign against the Khaddafi regime, when the U.S.-NATO alliance failed to secure the weapons.

Khaddafi had hoarded Africa’s biggest known reserve of MANPADS. His stock was said to number between 15,000 and 20,000. Many of the missiles were stolen by militias fighting in Libya, including those backed by the U.S. in their anti-Khaddafi efforts.

In January 2012, the United Nations Security Council first raised the alarm about Boko Haram acquiring weapons looted in Libya.

A 2013 House report documented Boko Haram’s efforts to purchase weapons from the groups that looted Khadafi’s reserves. It stated the group “has acquired, or will acquire, SA-7 and SA-24 shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles.”

The House document noted the SA-7 is effective up to 4,600 feet. While most commercial aircraft cruise at about 30,000 feet, the missile could down airliners during takeoff and landing.

The 39-page report said Boko Haram’s growing collaboration with al Qaeda, including the al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, franchise, has made the African group a threat to U.S. interests abroad as well as a potential danger to the U.S. homeland.

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