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Sunday, February 22, 2015

US ''Easing Into'' War with Syria by Using ISIS

Tony Cartalucci

The US is a few “accidental” airstrikes away from total war with Syria. The US is reportedly working with Turkey to provide militants inside of Syria with radios to call in US airstrikes to help in their “fight against ISIS.”

Despite the obvious reality that these militants are in fact fighting alongside ISIS and are primarily fighting the Syrian Arab Army, and that such airstrikes are inevitably going to be called in on Syrian, not ISIS targets, the US is nonetheless attempting to assure the world this is not the case. 

The London Telegraph declared in its article, “Moderate Syrian rebels ‘to be given power to call in US air strikes’,” that: 
The US is planning to train some 5000 Syrian fighters a year under the plan as part of an effort to strengthen the fractured rebel movement against the government of President Bashar al-Assad and extremist groups.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the initial training would focus on helping rebels hold ground and resist fighters allied with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
The Telegraph would also report: 
Four to six-man units will be equipped with rugged Toyota Hilux vehicles, GPS and radios so they can identify targets for airstrikes.
Even in the Telegraph’s article, it is clear that this plan will inevitably be aimed at the Syrian government and its troops, the only secular force in the region fighting Al Qaeda and its spin-off, ISIS. 

What “Moderate Rebels?” 

The Telegraph reports that the US and Turkey are to train and equip “moderate Syrian rebels” to call in US airstrikes. In reality, by the West’s own admission, the very last of NATO’s so-called “moderate” fronts have long since been folded into groups operating directly under Al Qaeda’s banner. 

To highlight the absurdity of this recent plan proposed by the US and NATO-member Turkey, the Telegraph itself has reported in an earlier article titled, “Syrian rebels armed and trained by US surrender to al-Qaeda,” that: 

Two of the main rebel groups receiving weapons from the United States to fight both the regime and jihadist groups in Syria have surrendered to al-Qaeda.

The US and its allies were relying on 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.
Clearly, there are no “moderates” to speak of, and for those following the Syrian conflict from the beginning, it is clear that armed militancy sprung up from networks of Muslim Brotherhood extremists, funded and organized years before the so-called “Arab Spring” by the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel for the explicit purpose of creating a regional sectarian-driven conflagration to effect regime change in Syria, Lebanon, and Iran. 

Indeed, Al Qaeda’s (and ISIS’) current presence in Iraq and Syria, and their leading role in the fight against the Iranian-leaning government’s of Damascus, Baghdad, and Hezbollah in Lebanon, are the present-day manifestation of a Western criminal conspiracy exposed as early as 2007. Revealed by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his article, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” it was stated explicitly that (emphasis added): 

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
As early as June of last year, it was reported that ISIS would be used as a means to incrementally draw in US forces in preparation for a direct military intervention aimed at Damascus itself. Unable to trigger the conflict using the canard of “WMDs,” ISIS has provided a series of increasingly more horrific provocations to help gather backing behind direct US military intervention in Syria. 

The extremists groups portended by Hersh’s 2007 report are undeniably the vanguard of Western-backed attempts to topple the government of Syria, undermine Iran, and draw in Lebanon’s Hezbollah. It appears that the West is willing to go as far as fighting directly alongside literal terrorists they have used for over a decade as a pretext to invade and occupy the nations of Afghanistan and Iraq, at the cost of thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan lives. 

USAF Becomes the Islamic State Air Force 

Clearly then, if all the “moderate rebels” the US claims are in Syria have in fact long ago pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda, then US airstrikes called in by these militants will essentially be airstrikes called in by Al Qaeda against the only legitimate forces in the region actually fighting terrorism. 

The creation of ISIS, just like during the US occupation of Iraq where Al Qaeda created the “Islamic State of Iraq” to maintain plausible deniability, is simply an attempt to build distance between the Al Qaeda terrorists the US is directly arming and will soon be providing air cover for, and the overt atrocities being carried out by these very same terrorists. 

While ISIS is currently being touted by the US as the pretext upon which this recent move is predicated, the reality is instead that America and its allies are simply “easing into” a direct military confrontation with the Syrian Arab Army. 

As US airstrikes begin hitting Syrian positions, it is likely that eventually Syria or its allies will retaliate and provoke a wider and more direct campaign against Damascus itself. Should Syria and its allies resist striking back, the US is likely to manufacture a provocation anyway. 

Barring Syria and its allies’ ability to provide sufficient deterrence against the beginning of this latest, most dangerous, and most desperate yet leg of America’s war on Syria, and should Syrian defenses be incapable of staving off a Libyan-style NATO operation that has left that nation entirely in the hands of ISIS, expect to see yet another nation handed directly over to extremists – intentionally – for the sole purpose of continuing this proxy crusade next into Lebanon and Iran, then into southern Russia and western China. 

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”, where this article first appeared.

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