Mr. Obama decided that the way to fight ISIS was to combine U.S. air power with “moderate” rebels hand-selected by the CIA to serve as boots on the ground. Unfortunately, Obama’s CIA-vetted moderates in Syria – the ones that were hand-selected – joined up with al-Qaeda recently and gave our weaponry to them.
These “moderate”, US-backed rebels, vetted by the CIA and to whom we give cash and arms, have been fighting alongside al-Nusra and they’re losing, not to Assad, but to al-Nusra (Al-Qaeda).
We had also been supplying the Free Syrian Army but they too count untold numbers of al-Qaeda and ISIS operatives in their numbers
Al-Nusra has a stronghold in the south and they just seized two rebel camps and their U.S. arms. These are the rebels Mr. Obama was counting on to serve as his boots on the ground in the fight against ISIS.
This is reminiscent of the the 1970’s when we gave cash and arms to Osama bin Laden and the Mujahideen. What’s that definition of insanity again?
The LA Times reported on November 29th that “Fighting along with U.S.-backed rebels were elements of Al Nusra Front, the official Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria….Al Nusra’s participation illustrates how Western-supported rebel groups often cooperate with the Al Qaeda franchise, though both sides try to play down the extent of coordination. Recent clashes between Al Nusra Front and U.S.-backed rebels in northwestern Syria do not appear to have broken the de facto alliance between the Al Qaeda affiliate and West-backed fighters in the south.”
Also on November 29th, McClatchy reported that a coalition of 72 Syrian rebel factions united to fight Assad. Our so-called moderate hold only 6 or 7 of the 17 executive positions. U.S.-backed rebels are losing territory to al-Nusra.
On Friday, according to McClatchy, Nusra stormed two of their bases and confiscated their weapons – our weapons secured via our covert CIA program – after the rebels surrendered.
The Syrian Opposition Coalition which Obama designated as the sole recognized representative of the Syrian people is now declared defunct by the Revolutionary Command Council.
McClatchy ends with this: “But the Nusra offensive and the Islamist groups’ overwhelming role in the new council underscore that the rebellion in the north is now dominated by those who are formally linked to al Qaeda and others who are only sympathetic.”
The Telegraph, reporting on the event, wrote that the U.S. and its allies were relying on the groups – Harakat Hazm and the Syrian Revolutionary Front – “to become part of a ground force that would attack the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).”
“For the last six months the Hazm movement, and the SRF through them, had been receiving heavy weapons from the US-led coalition, including GRAD rockets and TOW anti-tank missiles.
But on Saturday night Harakat Hazm surrendered military bases and weapons supplies to Jabhat al-Nusra, when the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria stormed villages they controlled in northern Idlib province.”
The SRF is out, al-Qaeda is in.
Here are our weapons:
What this all means is al-Qaeda has the south and the north and our weapons.
The Free Syrian Army, whom we supported for three years, has become overwhelmed with extremists and has agreed to Shari’ah Law as they fight with Nusra and other Islamic extremists, according to Aron Lund, a freelance writer on Syria.
This same careful vetting will undoubtedly go into the vetting of illegal aliens into the United States.
We reported in September, that the U.S. strategy to defeat ISIS is to use the Iraqi army, the Free Syrian Army, and vetted “moderate groups” – not Kurds – as ground troops while we provide air power. It was at that time Russia’s ambassador in Geneva Alexey Borodavkin warned during a session of the Human Rights Council that the Free Syrian Army “no longer exists.”
He said that the U.N. commission in its report, “recognizes that the Syrian government is working against a huge army of trained armed terrorists.”
“The Free Syrian Army no longer exists,” he continued. “Armed groups qualified as ‘moderate’ are closely coordinating their activities with terrorist groups.”
The report, from an independent U.N. commission of inquiry, also says that where “groups labeled as moderate” scored military successes against the regime they did so “closely coordinating with extremist groups, including the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra.”
The CIA was covertly arming and training “moderate” rebels at the time. Sen. Manchin warned on Neil Cavuto’s show on September 17th that it is too costly and risky to train the Syrian rebels. Manchin said it was some of these rebels who sold Steven Sotloff to ISIS. Mr. Sotloff was an American journalist who was beheaded by ISIS this past summer.
Did you notice how we no longer hear about the Khorasan group? It was the big news in September and was only meant to distract from ISIS. Khorasan is al-Qaeda. They’ve been there and they are still there. They orchestrate fighting with the rebels against Assad .
We have sent millions of dollars to Syria without any accounting. SSG – the organization that disperses U.S. funds to the Free Syrian Army includes jihadists in their ranks and fights with al Qaeda at times. SSG does not keep any records of how the money is dispersed.
The Supreme Military Council is a loose coalition of individuals who represent militias fighting under the Free Syrian Army (FSA) banner and they are tied to al Qaeda.
Zahran Alloush, was a supreme council member when the American aid was sent. Alloush, a co-founder of a new opposition coalition called the “Islamic Front,” is on the record as praising another al-Qaeda affiliate in the Syrian jihad.
Another supreme council member, Jamal Marouf, is cast as a moderate, but allied himself with radical jihadists in a January Twitter post.
“The front of the Syrian revolutionizes, The Islamic Front, and Jabhat al-Nusra, Muhajreen and Ansar, we are all in the fighting front together against the regime. What happened now is a fitna (strife), God damn who ignited it,” Maarouf wrote.
The British demanded SSG repay the money because it was spent improperly. We have not made any effort to get the money back nor have we uttered a word of complaint. We just keeping forking over the money for “humanitarian aid”.
In January of this year, John Kerry floated the idea that Iran should take part in Syria talks aimed at ending the terrorism in Syria even though Iran is sponsoring terrorism in Syria.
Iran has been sending in Revolutionary Guards to aid Hezbollah and Assad, causing the problem in the first place. They left Syria vulnerable to al-Qaeda.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International during the past two years say FSA brigades have committed war crimes including kidnapping, torture and executions. They have brutalized Christians because they see them as allies of Assad.
The GOP agreed to give Obama $500 million last year to train CIA-selected “moderates” even though there were numerous reports that they were fighting with al-Nusra.
Obama blacklisted al-Nusra in 2012 and said al-Qaeda was supplying weapons and cash to al-Nusra.
It’s not as if we didn’t know but the administration and the GOP were confident the CIA could vet them.
The GOP knew the risks but felt it was better than nothing and they were getting nothing else from Obama.
Nothing else might have been better in hindsight.
These weapons are being used to slaughter Christians, Kurds and small Muslim sects who really are moderate.
Back in 2011, when al-Qaeda was not a force in Syria, the U.S. could have made a difference, now we’re just chickens with our heads cut off, flailing about.
Our management, not the soldiers, are stupid.