Globally, it is widely believed that the United States tends to use terrorist organizations as hired guns in order to pursue its own interests all over the world. Since September 11, 2001, the White House has been implementing its expansionist policies, under the guise of the ‘War on Terror’, to seize natural resources and riches of other nations. And this was especially evident after the US interventions in Libya in 2011 and then Syria, and Washington’s actions in Afghanistan and the entire Middle Eastern region.
The sheer length of the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and Washington’s inability to achieve its desired goals all point to the true motives behind the US ‘War on Terror’. At first, the United States and its allies decided to use al-Qaeda (terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation) to destabilize the situation in the region and overthrow legitimate governments there. Then, after the plan failed, the US helped establish the Islamic State (also known as IS, ISIS, ISIL and Daesh, a terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation), which was to be used as a direct means of intervening in the region.
Such an approach was clearly evident in Syria where, throughout the conflict, the United States illegally supplied tons of weapons, worth billions of dollars, to terrorists from Daesh. The CIA and the Pentagon used various schemes to bring arms from Eastern Europe and the Middle East to the war zones. Only in 2015, Washington supposedly provided Daesh militants with $500 million in funding. According to a US Defense Department Inspector General report, from 2017 to 2018, the Pentagon lost track of more than $700 million worth of weapons and equipment. The audit found that “lax standards for gear accountability left” a lot of armaments “vulnerable to loss or theft”. Hence, weapons intended for vetted groups could have ended up in ISIS and al-Qaida hands due to battlefield losses and other issues. In addition, after the United States invested a substantial amount of time and money into training and equipping the Syrian opposition to fight terrorists, “members” of such units along with their American weapons often switched sides and joined terrorist forces instead.
It’s hardly a secret that Washington did not only help jihadists financially but would also regularly save their lives by evacuating them from dangerous areas and transporting them to US military bases, where they were subsequently trained. Afterwards, these militants could kill Syrian soldiers who essentially stand between Washington and Syrian crude oil. Numerous reports in various media outlets have, on many occasions, exposed USA’s clandestine schemes in Syria. And still, Washington continues to openly provide direct and indirect support to terrorists.
Almost 5 years have passed since the creation of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Members of this organization, with the help of the United States, portrayed themselves as almost the only fighters opposing Daesh (terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation) in the Euphrates region. However, many news outlets have, on many an occasion, reported that the SDF has a fair share of criminals in its midst, who Washington supposedly uses to communicate with terrorists. The Pentagon actively supported this alliance financially and included it in its list of “vetted” opposition groups in Syria. In fact, more than $300 million in funding was provided to the SDF on an annual basis. In 2017, after the “liberation” of the city of Raqqa in Syria, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) published a news article entitled ‘Raqqa’s dirty secret’. According to the report, an investigations revealed that “some 250 IS fighters”, with 3,500 of their family members, were allowed to leave the territories controlled by the SDF.
The aforementioned development is not the only example pointing to close ties between the Syrian Democratic Forces and terrorists. Journalists have reported other instances of wrongdoing. Apparently, the SDF has been involved in illicit trading in human organs. The United States is also believed to have provided support to the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham militant group (a terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation) in Idlib. There have also been reports about Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, openly referred to as “an American organization” by Yeniçağ (a Turkish nationalist newspaper), continuing its “proxy war” in Syria on behalf of the USA. Apparently, the group was tasked with establishing the “Sunni Idlib Autonomous Region” there by Washington.
In an interview with USA’s television broadcasting company CBS in March, US Special Representative for Syria Engagement James F. Jeffrey said that despite Washington’s ongoing war on terrorism in Syria, American armed forces did not stage direct attacks against Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham as this formation is fighting the Assad regime.
Today, one can find quite a lot of information about US-organized trainings on conducting armed operations in Syria and beyond for militants in various reports published by media outlets. In March, a video showing a training of the Maghawir al-Thawra armed unit at USA’s al-Tanf military base (in US-occupied region in southern Syria) was even posted on the official website of the United States’ Operation Inherent Resolve against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Syrian news outlets have, on more than one occasion, published information pointing to the fact that Maghawir al-Thawra militants, all of whom purportedly come from Middle Eastern and North African nations with some of them opposing Bashar al-Assad and the ruling Ba’ath Party, have made a name for themselves with their targeted acts of sabotage carried out in Syria. For instance, these militants took part in several attacks on a Syrian oil pipeline T2 near Palmyra, in a recent unsuccessful offensive in the Dara’a Governorate, and even in information campaigns of fairly well-known White Helmets, who members of Maghawir al-Thawra have close ties to. According to Syrian servicemen, these militants were planning a number of attacks on tanker trucks belonging to Syrian oil companies, which cooperate with Damascus as well as the SDF (who are involved in illegal oil production in the east of Syria). These acts of sabotage were aimed at somehow scaring businessmen…
It has already been reported earlier that, according to a former colonel of the Syrian Armed Forces, Sultan Aid Abdella Souda, detained for desertion, “there is a direct connection” between militants in Idlib and the United States.
Al-Masdar News wrote that several US-backed rebel fighters willingly surrendered themselves to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) forces in the Al-Tanf region of the Homs Governorate on the night of April 13-14, 2020. The militants are suspected of being trained to stage attacks on oil/gas and transportation infrastructure, and to plan and carry out acts of terror in the territories under the control of Syrian government forces.
Recently, schemes used by US armed forces to operate in Syria in order to justify their presence in the country came to light. A key witness for Damascus and a former field commander of Syria’s armed opposition, Hannam Samir (also known as Abu Hamzi) has shared his views on US military tactics in the region. He has affirmed that the Pentagon and the CIA have established networks for recruiting mercenaries in southern Syria. Hannam Samir also talked about the logistics of supplying Islamist terrorists with weapons. He was the commander of an outpost near the Rukban refugee camp. According to his statements, instead of trucks full of humanitarian aid, convoys with weapons and food travelled unimpeded through guard posts and the camp, where the US al-Tanf military base is also located. Using recruited “moderate opposition” as cover, Americans, at some point in time, stopped fulfilling any of their promises, with salaries and food provided only once in three months. Disagreements arose among field commanders and, subsequently, Abu Hamzi and his unit decided to defect and surrender to Syria’s governments forces.
Unquestionably, all of the evidence pointing to Washington’s ties with terrorists instead of US efforts to wage war on terror, should be made publicly available and used during international court proceedings as proof of USA’s dirty policies in the Middle East.
Valery Kulikov, political analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”