(Go here to listen to John Kerry talk about banning Russian and Syrian planes from flying over locations where “the legitimate opposition, al-Nusra, is present” right after saying al-Nusra is al-Qaeda. Then read below where an al-Qaeda leader says “all opposition members in Syria are al-Nusra” and you start to understand what’s really going on and who are forces are protecting.)
from Moon of Alabama
The Obama administration, and especially the CIA and the State Department, seem to be in trouble. They shout everything they can against Russia and allege that the cleansing of east-Aleppo of al-Qaeda terrorist is genocidal. Meanwhile no mention is ever made of the famine of the Houthis in Yemen which the U.S. and Saudi bombing and their blockade directly causes.
bigger (source unknown)But more and more major news accounts support the Russian allegation that the “moderate rebels” the U.S. is coddling in Syria are actually in cahoots with al-Qaeda if not al-Qaeda itself.
Reuters reports (though only at the end of a longer story):
In Aleppo, rebels in the Free Syrian Army are sharing operational planning with Jaish al-Fatah, an alliance of Islamist groups that includes the former Syrian wing of al Qaeda.Meanwhile, in nearby Hama province, FSA groups armed with U.S.-made anti-tank missiles are taking part in a major offensive with the al Qaeda-inspired Jund al-Aqsa group.
The Wall Street Journal is more direct and headlining: Syria Rebels Draw Closer to al Qaeda-Linked Group
Some of Syria’s largest rebel factions are doubling down on their alliance with an al Qaeda-linked group, despite a U.S. warning to split from the extremists or risk being targeted in airstrikes.
Some rebel groups already aligned with Syria Conquest Front responded by renewing their alliance. But others, such as Nour al-Din al-Zinki, a former Central Intelligence Agency-backed group and one of the largest factions in Aleppo, pledged allegiance for the first time to the front in recent days.
Indeed al.Qaeda announced publicly that the CIA’s Nour el-Din Zinki and Suqour al-Sham joined its Jihad
As little back as August the State Department defended Zinki after some of its member abducted a Palestinian boy from a hospital near Aleppo and beheaded him in front of a video camera:
[I]n State Department briefings, [..] spokesman Mark Toner downplayed the incidents, or the possibility that the US would stop arming Nour al-Din al-Zinki just because they beheaded a child..
Toner insisted [..] “one incident here and there would not necessarily make you a terrorist group.”
The new news reports follow after an interview by the German former politician and journalist Jürgen Todenhöfer with an al-Qaeda commander published in English on this site. The commander said that Nusra (aka al-Qaeda) were directly supplied, via a subgroup, with U.S. TOW missiles. He added about such groups:
They are all with us. We are all the al-Nusra Front. A groups is created and calls itself “Islamic Army”, or “Fateh al-Sham”. Each group has its own name but their believe is homogeneous. The general name is al-Nusra Front. One person has, for example, 2,000 fighters. Then he creates from these a new group and calls it “Ahrar al-Sham”. Brothers, who’s believe, thoughts and aims are identical to those of al-Nusra Front.
Another interview recently published by the former military Jack Murphy was with a Green Beret soldier who served in Turkey and Syria. The Green Berets are special forces of the U.S. army. They are specialists in training and fighting with indigenous guerrilla groups against governments the U.S. dislikes. The soldier interviewed was ordered to train “moderate Syrian rebels” in Turkey. Parts of the interview (pay-walled) are quoted here:
“No one on the ground believes in this mission or this effort”, a former Green Beret writes of America’s covert and clandestine programs to train and arm Syrian insurgents, “they know we are just training the next generation of jihadis, so they are sabotaging it by saying, ‘Fuck it, who cares?’”. “I don’t want to be responsible for Nusra guys saying they were trained by Americans,” the Green Beret added.
Murphy states bluntly: “distinguishing between the FSA and al-Nusra is impossible, because they are virtually the same organization. As early as 2013, FSA commanders were defecting with their entire units to join al-Nusra. There, they still retain the FSA monicker, but it is merely for show, to give the appearance of secularism so they can maintain access to weaponry provided by the CIA and Saudi intelligence services. The reality is that the FSA is little more than a cover for the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra. …
It is one thing when Russia says something, but another when Reuters, WSJ, and independent German and U.S. subject experts report this as facts. The first can be shunned as “Putin lies” but the others are extremely hard to refute.
[read more of this outstanding article here]
Filed under: War against Syria