Last year, in an interview with the UK Defense Journal, the former British Secretary of State for Defense, Sir Michael Fallon, he announced that Britain played a pivotal role in defeating of ISIS, and that it was but a minor annoyance for the international community. At the same time, the British Press Association announced that London had wasted at least 800 million pounds on its military adventure in Syria.
However, it is unlikely that a total of 1,500 sorties carried out by the Royal Air Force in Iraq and Syria since 2014 can be considered a major commitment to the fight against terrorism, as the Russian Air Corps itself launched in Syria well over one hundred thousand precision air strikes against ISIS militants alone, and it was operations of this scale that effectively broke the backbone of this terrorist organization by disrupting its supply lines.
However, if the British commitment to the world-wide anti-terrorist struggle was negligible, where did the millions of pounds of British taxpayers’ money go? And how come London’s commitment to the fight against ISIS didn’t prevent it from consuming one third of Iraq and the whole of Syria back in 2015?
Those who haven’t been following international events closely over the last couple of years have a hard time understanding how radical militants could get enough weapons, spare parts, ammunition, mines, missiles and shells to give a military coalition of 60 plus countries from around the world a good run for their money.
Thankfully, a series of recent independent investigations has uncovered Britain’s highly secretive ties with a terrorist groups that turned out to be nothing but a Western tool of imperial aggression against a number of sovereign states around the world.
Last March, in the outskirts of the Syrian capital in the municipality of Jobar, reconnaissance units of the Syrian Air Force managed to capture a number of liaison officers in an underground facility. Among those captured was an American intelligence officer, an Israeli officer, along with a group of British SAS officers, who were coordinating the operations of the so-called opposition force which at the time was shelling residential areas of Damascus with 120 mm mortars.
Unexpectedly, light was shed on the connections of the UK with international terrorists by a recent investigation of a British non-governmental organization Conflict Armament Research (CAR), which monitors illegal arms trafficking. Its experts were monitoring the situation in Syria and Iraq for a total of three years – from July 2014 to November 2017. According to their reports, those positions abandoned by retreating ISIS detachments allowed CAR to get intimately familiar with the weapons and ammunition used by the extremists on the field of battle. To their surprise, a great many of those would bear British markings. It was also logical that those experts would attempt to uncover smuggling routes, while authenticating production sheets and serial numbers. According to Damien Spleeters who is an investigator for CAR, it was surprisingly quick how a specific piece of weaponry sold abroad ended up in ISIS warehouses.
During the liberation of al-Raqqa in late 2017, which was occupied by ISIS terrorists for a considerable period of time, more than 4,000 militants managed to escape together with their with weapons and ammunition due to the assistance provided to them by the United States and Britain. As indicated by an investigation by the BBC that was uncovered in an article titled Raqqa’s Dirty Secret, a total of 13 buses, 50 trucks and more than a 100 other vehicles belonging to the militants were used for the successful evacuation of terrorists. It is noteworthy that, according to this publication, both American and British intelligence officers were negotiating the withdrawal of terrorist formations from al-Raqqa, even though they were not taking part in the hostilities, at least officially.
In December 2017, yet another scandal broke out due to the findings of yet another investigation by the BBC. According to the publication, a British military company Adam Smith International (ASI), which oversaw the operations of the so-called Syrian Free Police was actually sponsoring terrorists. It turned out that the funds from the British budget were not spent on the maintenance of peace within the “territories freed from Assad”, but instead were used to support terrorists. Upon receiving the funds, these so-called police would immediately transfer them to radical militants, namely to the group known as Nour al-Din al-Zenki, which was in control of Aleppo. The British sponsored “police” used to also enjoy close ties with the radical Shariah court in Kasmiye, in spite of reports that this entity was engaged in torturing and killings civilians.
After facing an extensive amount of backlash in the media, London had to temporarily suspend the so-called Syrian Free Police, without commenting on the role it played in the sponsoring of terrorist organizations. However, this precedent allowed international analysts to get some insight into what the UK was actually trying to achieve in Syria. However, this didn’t prevent the UK foreign office from receiving a total of 9 million pounds on the support of the so-called opposition forces in Syria. Of these, 2.4 million pounds will be allocated toward the maintenance of the “moderate opposition” propaganda center in Istanbul, which allows British intelligence officers to manufacture fake reports for Arab social networks.
However, there’s hardly an end to the revelations about the role the UK plays in sponsoring and supporting terrorists in Syria, as the recent report of the United States Anti-Terrorist Center, dedicated to the study of ISIS, revealed. The report indicated that all of the unmanned aerial vehicles deployed by terrorists were built by British manufacturers. To be more precise, they were the brainchild of IBACS which has a long list of subsidiaries scattered across the United Kingdom, the United States, Spain and even Bangladesh. Officially, IBACS is an ordinary company working in the field of IT, electronics, and software. However, it turned out that the company was nothing more than a cover up built for the supply of military grade drones to Islamic State terrorists.
It should be noted that numerous instances of terrorists deploying unmanned aerial vehicles in their operations have been a source of massive headache for the international anti-terrorist coalition. As a number of jihadist formations have gained some expertise in the use of combat-capable drones, it became clear that in the coming years they may start using high-precision bombs for long-range attacks, capable of hitting targets hundreds of miles away from the zone of their actual deployment. What this basically means is that they may launch strikes against remote targets across both the Middle East and Europe, without any form of retribution. During the defense of the Iraqi city of Mosul, ISIS militants would use drones to drop explosives on advancing Iraqi armed columns that were dispatched to recapture the city. Back then, there was a number of absolutely justified comments voiced that such high-tech weapons could only be obtained by terrorists from a country with high technical capabilities.
Yet, one can’t help but be puzzled by the fact that even though all of the above listed reports have been circulating in the media for a while, the British government led by Theresa May carries on with its policies with complete impunity, while describing the British commitment to the international struggle against terrorism in eloquent words. It seems that London expects to get away with the fact that its has been in bed with ISIS for so long, and avoiding accountability by simply sacking the above mentioned former secretary of state for defense, sir Michael Fallon. Moreover, Fallon was thrown under the bus by Britain’s ruling elites by staging a sex scandal that was widely discussed in the British media, so that no awkward questions could be asked.
Is it now time for the Great Wen to officially recognize the role that the UK played in sponsoring and aiding terrorists, while determining the role that the sitting British government played in all this.
Martin Berger is a freelance journalist and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”