In the early 19602 a group of British mercenaries went out to the Yemen to fight in a civil war between Royalists and Republicans. The mercenaries were mainly former SAS. Their story is told in
The Republicans were supported by Egypt who sent troops and planes. Eventually, after much duplicity and bloodshed the Republicans won.
The Duff Hart-Davis book contains one interesting revelation.
Israel supplied arms to the Royalists. The Royalists didn't know that they were getting aid from Israel because it was funnelled through the British mercenaries. Israeli transport planes flew into a secret airfield in the mountains at night and unloaded guns and ammunition which the British then delivered to the Royalist groups. If the Royalists had known the source of their arms they would have been enraged.
Israel supplied the arms because they wanted to tie the Egyptians down in Yemen. The covert operation was successful. Egypt's commitment to the war is considered to have damaged its performance in the Six-Day War of June 1967. Egyptian military historians refer to the war in Yemen as their Vietnam.
Does this sound familiar? It might do because many people believe that Israel is busy trying to repeat the trick in Syria. Their aim being to weaken an enemy and also draw a bigger enemy, Iran, into the quagmire.
Britain and France want to supply arms to the rebels in Syria. Supposedly this is being done to alleviate human suffering and depose Assad. Critics see several problems with this scenario.
Assad is the leader of the Alawites. The war is not between a tyrant and the Syrian people but between the Sunni majority and the Alawites [and other religious minorities including Christians]. Defeating Assad will mean defeating the Alawites and will result in massive ethnic cleansing.
What is motivating Britain and France? Why their sudden interest in Syria? Why, if they want to alleviate human suffering, are they not putting all their money into helping refugees?
Supplying arms to the rebels will prolong the war, not shorten it. Iran cannot let the Syrian government be defeated for reasons I covered in this post. Russia does not want complete American hegemony in the Middle East. If Israel's proxies feed arms and men into Syria they will do the same and the war will grind on.