Dempsey was very cautious in admitting that US-supported rebels are now equipped with arsenal to down Syrian jets but said, “It appears Syrian rebels were able to shoot down a Syrian warplane” but insisted “I have no indication that they are armed with heavy weapons or surface-to-air missiles, at least not yet”. He admitted the MiG fighter could have been shot down with small arms fire.
Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta voiced concerns about Iran’s growing presence in Syria, even as President Bashar Assad’s regime steps up its aerial attacks against the rebel forces. Fierce fighting and attacks from warplanes and helicopter gunships have pushed the opposition forces back in key fronts, such as Aleppo.
“We do not think that Iran ought to be playing that role at this moment in time,” the defense secretary said. He said that “it’s dangerous, that it’s adding to the killing that’s going on in Syria and that it tries to bolster a regime that we think ultimately is going to come down.”
This clearly indicates that the United States is openly supporting the rebels because it doesn’t wish Assad to remain in power, the same ‘regime change saga’ it has earlier played in many countries but does not wish to do the same in Bahrain. The duality of standards clearly indicates that the grand US plan is not the dismissal of Assad but to create a justification for an assault on Iran.