The latest events in Iraq are providing fodder for analysis by many experts worldwide, who are unanimous in the opinion that they have formed. And their opinion is that in Iraq and other countries, such as Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and Ukraine, American politicians deliberately stoke tensions and create artificial chaos so that they can then step into the fray as “peacemakers” and strengthen Washington’s position.
And that’s not merely assertion but rather in-depth analysis. There are many convincing facts that clearly expose an American military policy aimed at undermining peace in many parts of the world. Now Washington, without concealing its satisfaction, is being demagogic in commiserating with stooge Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as it watches the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant score military victory after victory and overrun swaths of Iraq. A number of observers have taken note of the militants’ superb training, their modern American weapons and the presence of Europeans in their ranks.
What kind of organization is ISIL, where did it come from, and who is sponsoring its wide-ranging actions, training its militants and supplying them with the most advanced weaponry?
According to numerous reports, the group is funded by Arab monarchies, Saudi Arabia chief among them. In January, an ISIL field commander captured in a counterterrorist operation in western Iraq admitted that the organization had received $150 million from Saudi Arabia to organize an armed revolt in Iraq. Gulf monarchies also finance shipments of American weaponry to these outlaws.
Until recently, ISIL was based mainly in the northern and eastern provinces of Syria. Formed in April 2013 with active participation by the West and Arab monarchies, the organization was birthed by the wave of al-Qaida terrorism springing from the American occupation. It was intended to unleash terror and tyranny in Syria. In connection with this, it is worthwhile to recall al-Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden, whose organization was established with American taxpayer dollars. Having earned a tidy sum of money, he lived out his days Pakistan in fine style.
However, in February 2014, CIA agents in the command structure of the infamous al-Qaida said the terrorist group supposedly was refusing to support ISIL so that the status of “genuine Syrian freedom fighters” could be conferred on ISIL.
The assignments given to ISIL by its sponsors and organizers were carried out, as the group participated in a series of major terrorist operations, including suicide bombings. Various sources estimate the number of fighters at 5,000 to 10,000.
But with the United States extensively supplying weapons to the Syrian rebels, the situation inevitably fostered the creation of armed groups similar to the ones now in Somalia. Brig. Gen. Abdelilah al-Bashir, who led the Free Syrian Army before becoming the leader of its supreme military council, expressed his certainty about that phenomenon. Specifically, he said that Washington is supplying weapons to insurgents and bypassing the Free Syrian Army. “The Americans are handing out arms on the northern and southern fronts. We demand to be given responsibility for this distribution,” al-Bashir said. Moreover, he stressed the danger of such U.S. actions. “Providing support to the militants’ individual battalion commanders can turn them into leaders of armed groups that will become uncontrollable down the road. That will turn Syria into Afghanistan or Somalia,” he declared. Al-Bashir made the comments after an arms shipment designated for the Free Syrian Army disappeared in an area controlled by the Islamists.
However, in response to Al-Bashir’s remarks, the U.S. State Department issued a statement saying that military assistance is given only to “moderate and verified militant groups,” and the White House categorized the assistance as “nonlethal” (although U.S. officials previously acknowledged that weapons shipments include small arms, anti-tank missiles and man-portable air defense systems). Moreover, a State Department spokesman said that “President Barack Obama is committed to offering more support to the rebels, including the Free Syrian Army, in the framework of providing nonlethal aid to ‘moderate and verified groups.’ As part of this process, we have regular cooperation with the FSA and al-Bashir. We are ramping up the pace of our supply of nonlethal assistance in coordination with the Free Syrian Army.”
Incidentally, Lakhdar Brahimi, the former UN special envoy to the Arab League, also focused attention on the uncontrolled proliferation of weapons of various militant groups. He too compared the situation in Syria to the situation in Somalia and Afghanistan.
Today, ISIL claims authority in eight of the 18 Iraqi provinces with a predominantly Sunni population: Anbar, Diyala, Tamim, Salah al-Din, Ninewa, Baghdad, Babil and Wasit.
An interesting and rather significant statement in response to recent events in Iraq was made by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. He called on all Iraqi politicians to unite in the face of extremist threats, abide by the Iraqi Сonstitution and cooperate with the democratic political process in opposing ISIL.
Unfortunately, though, the statement singled out Iraq, and Syria, where the terrorists originated, was not mentioned for some reason. That left the impression that Ban is playing up to his American friends in this instance. In Iraq, where the U.S. has a puppet in Nouri al-Maliki, the terrorists must be fought, whereas in Syria, where the lawfully elected President Bashar Assad is in charge, ISIL militants can wreak havoc with the help of their vast array of American military technology.
Many politicians now recall Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s warning in Brussels at the beginning of the year. He used the words dangerous and unscrupulous to describe claims that ISIL was created by the Syrian government and was being used and funded by Syria to support the terrorist threat. “This is a very dishonest statement. Those in control of the opposition and its propaganda machine bear responsibility for that, and they have even more to answer for if they are involved in such things,” Lavrov said. “For the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is aiming not just to seize power in Syria but also to create a caliphate throughout the region. And rivals of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant are the same folks, the same Islamic Front, who have recently displaced the Free Syrian Army. It consists of established terrorist groups.” As an experienced diplomat, Lavrov is forced to speak cautiously, so he did not divulge the fact ISIL was created by the CIA to promote its interests.
The next problem evokes a great deal of interest and inquiry. The terrorists seized Turkish consular officials in Mosul, and right away Washington offered to help Ankara free the Turkish diplomats. However, Turkey neighbors Iraq, not America, which is thousands of kilometers away, and Turkey has sway over the Iraqi government as well as an army with rugged special forces to handle the matter of securing the release of the hostages. Nevertheless, American aid was offered immediately and decisively.
Washington is trying to accomplish two objectives here. The first is to sever the rather close ties between Baghdad and Tehran. It’s no secret that al-Maliki has made Iranians feel comfortable in Iraq. The border between the two countries does not really matter, and if the Iranian army needed to cross over into Iraq, it could do so with ease. Airspace is also open to Iranian civil and military aircraft that fly to Syria and back with no problems at all.
The second reason is to show the Sunni regimes, particularly Saudi Arabia, that Washington has not abandoned them to their fate. ISIL has broad sponsorship among Sunnis, and the United States is providing the group with the most state-of-the-art weapons. If the rebels come to power in Iraq, they will be very grateful to Riyadh and Washington. Due to repeated U.S. failures in Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine, a local victory in Iraq will allow Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama to regain some of his lost prestige.
“There is no doubt that those who invaded Iraq more than 10 years ago and continued to impose their decisions and will on the people of the region have contributed mightily to destabilizing the process, the fruits of which are now evident in almost all of the Middle East,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich. He said Russia strongly condemns the terrorists’ plans to gain a foothold in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere in the region.
“We have to remind that in the first round of talks in Geneva, the Syrian delegation persistently raised the issue of the common fight against terrorism being a priority. Unfortunately, these calls were not heeded, and the terrorists thereby escalated their capabilities, which we see confirmed today by events in Iraq,” Lukashevich said. He called the Iraq situation unacceptable and a dangerous flirtation with extremists that follows from double standards and interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states.
Victor Mikhin, correspondent member of the Russian Academy of Natural Science especially for the online magazine“New Eastern Outlook”.