Recent information indicates t..." /> U.S. / Syrian Connection Before and After the Gulf War | Emanuel Winston Archives

U.S. / Syrian Connection Before and After the Gulf War

Published on 5/25/1992 | | by Emanuel Winston | 0 Comments
Archived in: US Policy


Recent information indicates that the U.S. Administration was in close two-track communication with Syria prior to, during and after the Gulf War, through publicly visible and covert programs. Generally speaking this would not be unusual except, like Iraq, Syria was and is still on the State Department list of terrorist nations. This identification is intended to restrict transfer of weapons, super computers, intelligence, and technology among a long list of “do not transfer” items.

During the Gulf War the U.S., presumably through a chain of command including President Bush, Sec. of State Baker, General Colin Powell, and General Schwarzkopf, among others, opened up a safe air corridor for fleeing Iraqi winged aircraft. This included fighter bombers, cargo planes reportedly loaded with missiles, spare parts, etc. The corridor led directly to Iran, which is strange since Iran is the avowed enemy of both Iraq and America.

It has been reported that a large number (approximately90) of these Soviet-built aircraft were dismantled by East European and Russian technicians and crated for shipment to Syria. The crates were shaped and labeled in such a way as to make them appear to be farm equipment. Reportedly satellite U.S. Intelligence observed their arrival and departure.

It seems amply clear that the U.S. not only provided safe passage for the Iraqi aircraft, but also was the initiating broker between Iraq, Iran and Syria. However, whether the deal was made with Saddam on the promise to preserve his Air Force (to include helicopters, armor, etc.), as we had his Republican Guards and their equipment, is yet to be determined. It is unlikely Saddam would have generously released his Air Force to escape IF he did not believe he was going to get them back. Perhaps Iran merely double crossed Saddam and decided to keep the aircraft as war reparations for the previous 8 year costly war initiated by Iraq.

If the U.S. and Iran had a secret arms transfer agreement to Syria, who paid the Iranians for releasing this very expensive equipment which was then received at not cost? Was the money paid by the Saudis to Syria, then paid over to Iran – with U.S. approval? Was Iraq promised more illegal U.S. funds, such as the $5 billion covertly given in various ways to Saddam by the Bush Administration prior to the Gulf War? Who acted as coordinator and planner with Saddam? When was the plan evolved…before or during the war?

Whichever emerges, it is relevant to the U.S. involvement in what may be another illegal scheme aimed to transfer weapons to Syria and possibly Iran. While the weapons (aircraft) may have been the original property of Iraq, transferred to Iran and then in part re-transferred to Syria, such a deal brokered by the U.S. may be flagrantly illegal. This violation of law may be compounded by the U.S. funding, equipment and political protection to the players.

We are now aware that a great quantity of U.S. military equipment shipped into Saudi Arabia for the Gulf War has since been trans-shipped to Syria and Egypt covertly without Congressional approval. Apparently, there has been a lot of creative bookkeeping on return of inventory, a lot of which was listed as “unusable.” For example, helicopters were supposedly pushed overboard from aircraft carriers because they were listed as “junk.” But they were apparently NOT “junk” and are now further strengthening Syria’s war machine.

This links into the $2-3 billion Saudi Arabia gave to Syria who used it to purchase improved SCUD-C missiles from North Korea (which Bush ordered the U.S. Navy NOT to intercept), plus new MIGS from Russia and the new Republics. The North Korean vessels docked at Bandar Abbas, Iran, and off-loaded the missiles for overland transfer to Syria. Here, too, the Administration acted to expedite the transfer of SCUD missiles from North Korea and presumably knew about the manufacture, intent to sell, method of shipment and intended recipients.

The question arose as to why the Israelis did not attempt to interfere with the North Korean vessels. Most intelligence analysis concluded that Israel would have been warned off by the U.S. Safe passage would, therefore, translate into officially losing the ships from radar and satellite, but, in effect, the U.S. provided a shadow escort for North Korean SCUD-Cs to Syria.

The Iraqi MIGs (primarily) which landed in Iran are purportedly listed as “on loan” to Syria so as not to appear as a sale with the U.S. acting as the sales agent.  Part of the “quid pro quo” is that Syria is training Iranian pilots on the Soviet equipment and other weapons systems. The Soviets, as former suppliers of Syria, seem to have resumed their assistance, possibly under the guise of civilian contractors. U.S. Intelligence must know this and presumably the State Department approves of maintaining and improving Syria’s high level of combat readiness.


Syria is reported to be gathering massive numbers of shoulder-fired anti-tank missiles in addition to their newly acquired SCUD-Cs from North Korea, presumably in preparation for an assault in Israel. Hafez al-Assad has 10-12 divisions on the Golan, plus a fully equipped 40,000 man army effectively occupying Lebanon. Presently, he is arming the Iranian Hezbollah (Party of God) terrorists and the P.L.O. On Israel’s northern border in Lebanon as his expendable stock troops for such an attack. However, his main thrust will still remain on the Golan.

Arafat was approached by Assad to encourage a violent armed uprising in the West Bank territories by Palestinians, in coordination with a Syrian assault in the North (Lebanese Border and Golan Heights). Their objective will be to tie down and prevent Israeli reservists from reaching their units near the Syrian border.

Syria is willing to take massive troop loses in order to gain a foothold on Israel’s Northern border with Lebanon and possibly deep penetration of the Golan itself. Presumably he would then attempt to hold the territory, awaiting pre-planned intercession by the U.S., Europe and the United Nations. Subsequent negotiations under the auspices of the U.N. would presumably give Assad the Golan – with some cosmetic U.N. Supervision.

It is not beyond reason that the Administration has also been in contact with the political left wing in Israel – to accept a military success by Syria on the Golan…as a sacrifice solution if the U.S. announced their usual guarantees.

King Hussein was purportedly contacted to use his troops and Palestinians to concurrently tie up Israel’s Eastern Command with its longest border. We understood that Hussein angrily refused, knowing he would be merely a sacrificial pawn to be hard hit by Israeli forces. However, since the Palestinians are the majority of the Jordanian population, approximately 75%, it is likely that Assad can encourage an uprising against both King Hussein and Israel as a diversion.

This Administration knew that these nations (Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Iran) had attempted through continual efforts to destroy Israel, the only democracy in the region. In effect, notwithstanding their proclamation of friendship for Israel, the Bush Administration entered a conspiracy with terrorist nations to weaken and finally destroy a fellow democracy.


About the Author



Manny Winston, my late husband, flew from Chicago to Israel to volunteer during the Yom Kippur War in 1973. He arrived with US secretary of state Henry Kissinger’s first ceasefire on October 21; I followed on October 30th.

Manny was picking grapefruit at Kibbutz Dalia when his friend, the artists, Sol Baskin called with a permit to enter the war zone. They drove to meet Gen. Ariel “Arik” Sharon at the Suez Canal. “Shalom” Baskin was part of the Mahal volunteers from America to the IDF, and a commissioned officer in Mahal. He was Arik’s commanding officer during the 1948 War of Independence, and they remained friends.

Manny brought his two Leica cameras and photographed an outstanding photo exposé on October 29 and 30. He saw and smelled the “killing fields” He met with Sharon, the young soldiers who had survived the destroyed tanks and he saw how the blown tank turret, flipped upside down destroyed the lives of those brave souls inside.

Manny did see these effects and, because he was a true Renaissance man, a graphic thinker who was a painter, sculptor and political analyst, he envisioned a solution to the weak point of the tank. He described a technique to conquer that weakness to Sharon, who sent him to Maj.-Gen. Israel Tal, the developer of the famed Merkava tank.

Manny’s “leap of imagination” created what became “Blazer” or “Reactive” Armor. He designed rectangles of hollow metal boxes with an explosive charge inside. These ‘so-called’ “skirts” were placed around the neck of the tank turret so that when hit, the explosive charge therein would push the incoming ballistic missile out, thereby saving the tank and its crew. This was compatible with the primary goal of Gen. Tal’s Merkava tanks: Defense of the Tank Crew.

That, along with speed, maneuverability, effective shooting and protection against damaging desert sand, were what made the Merkava “The Tank a Jewish Mother Would Love,” as Manny called it.

He also designed a better bridge for crossing the Canal – easier to carry and assemble, and less susceptible to the huge holes the tanks had already created on the day’s existing bridge.

Manny continued to submit creative concepts for defense and offense to Israel’s military industries – for which he received his Israeli citizenship and security clearance. Many of his concepts and ideas were adopted throughout the years. He never asked for credit or remuneration but even today, I see his concepts being used, either in action or in military articles. Someday I hope to publish the “WINSTON DEFENSE DESIGNS,” either online or in a book – a very big book, with his original drawings.

The Yom Kippur War was a seminal turning point in Israel’s history. We did win. It was a miracle, given the forces mounted against us, in number and backed up the Soviet Union.

We have 40 mounted color photographs by Emanuel A. Winston, ready to show at a traveling or permanent exhibition, which will enhance our appreciation of what our men and generals went through and achieved.

The Yom Kippur War was also a seminal turning point in the lives of the Winston family. It was our second trip to Israel. We had tried to make Aliyah in 1962 but didn’t succeed. I made Aliyah on November 7, 1979. Manny died on June 12, 2012, and is now buried on the Mount of Olives.

I sold the home he built in Highland Park, Illinois, in August 2012, and brought his manuscripts and published papers, to the home I built in Israel in 1992. Two of our sons and their families also live in the Jewish state.

My heartfelt message for you, the reader, is to invite all my friends, family and Internet friends to come to Israel. This is where a Jew can be truly Jewish.

Leave a Reply