FNC’s Shep Smith: Today’s Chaos in Syria ‘Is On Us,’ America
SMITH: "So let’s get to it. The president tweeted put the Russians and the Syrians and the Iranians on notice that missiles are coming to Syria. The White House has backed off and the president said he didn’t divulge when but it seems clear to anyone paying attention that the idea at least is to respond to a reported chemical attack on civilians inside Syria. Will it happen? We don’t know. That’s the idea. They made that clear presumably by the Syrian government. That’s where we are. But where did this begin? Where is it all going? Real talk now on Syria. Are you with me? Because Syria is on us. In the early part of the decade, Syria was in a civil war. The rebels were losing and badly. Assad had an army and tanks by way of example and the rebels had very little. The American position, Assad should go. For lots of reasons. He was murdering his people certainly. But the Russians had influence there and we didn’t want that. The Iranians were getting in the mix and we didn’t want that. And our allies in Saudi Arabia and Qatar and Jordan and beyond didn’t want any of it. In late 2012 and early 2013, we entered the Syrian civil war through our CIA on the side of the Syrian opposition. Those moderate Syrian rebels that President Obama used to talk about, it was operation timber sycamore. And it was a huge secret. The idea was to arm and support those moderate Syrian rebels so that they would overthrow the government and we could get an American friendly regime in place. So what happened? Well, we formed an alliance of allies. The Saudis provided the money largely, billions and tens of billions of dollars to buy thousands of tons of weapons. Assault rifles, mortars, rpgs and night vision goggles. Everything the rebels needed. The U.S. Trained them, thousands and thousands of them largely in Jordan. Our CIA did that. We send them out to fight Assad’s troops. They could not have survived without us. They killed as many as 100,000 troops and looked for a time that they were going to overthrow Assad just like the United States wanted. Again, President Obama had signed off on this in secret without Congress, obviously. At first he was against it, the story went. Worried the weapons might go to the terrorists. As the story goes, king Abdullah dull — of Jordan convinced him. So it was the Syrian rebels against the Syrian government until the Russians joined in with the Iranians. That I sent guns and equipment and support and fought alongside the Syrians. So there we are. The proxy war was now us and our allies against the Syrians, the Russians and the Iranians. The stakes were suddenly much higher. Last July President Trump tried to get out of it all diverting resources to fighting ISIS in Syria. By then, our side had flooded the Middle East with weapons that in one way or another ISIS and the front had bought or stolen on the open market. We were fighting the terrorists with weapons provided by our side against the Syrians. It’s a mess in Syria. Last year President Trump sent 59 tomahawk missiles on an air field where there was a chemical attack. Nothing changed in the course of the war. By the way, since then there’s been like 20 of these chemical attacks according to observers in the region. Since Russia has built up their presence a lot with anti-aircraft defenses and jets and tanks. They’re entrenched. As we threaten to go back into the proxy war with an air strike of some kind, possibly bigger than the one a year ago, the Russians are threaten to shoot down our missiles and retaliate. Russia, Syria and Iran versus Saudi Arabia, other Arab states and the United States. And we’re considering another move. The United States’ official position, there should be regime change in Syria. Who backs up the Syrian regime? The Russians. So what is the next move? Well, the time is now. We await a decision. The world is watching. The chief White House correspondent John Roberts is live with more. John?"