Run from secret operations centers in Turkey and Jordan, a CIA program pumped many hundreds of millions of dollars to many dozens of militia groups in Syria. This was revealed now by the Washington Post. The rise and fall of the Syria covert action program conveys some useful lessons about this most delicate weapon in the United States’ arsenal, writes the Washington Post, acknowledging the US major role in destabilizing Syria.Read more . . .
Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, in August 2016:
“The West should seek the further weakening of Islamic State, but not its destruction… Allowing bad guys to kill bad guys sounds very cynical, but it is useful and even moral to do so if it keeps the bad guys busy and less able to harm the good guys… Moreover, instability and crises sometimes contain portents of positive change… The American administration does not appear capable of recognizing the fact that IS can be a useful tool in undermining Tehran’s ambitious plan for domination of the Middle East.”Read more . . .
Five years of devastating civil war and strict economic sanctions have plunged over 80 percent of Syrians into poverty, up from 28 percent in 2010. Ferdinand Arslanian, a scholar at the Center for Syrian Studies at the University of St. Andrews, says that reduction in living standards and aid dependency is empowering the regime.Read more . . .
President Bashar al-Assad gave an interview to Russian media in which he hailed the Russian initiative for inter-Syrian dialogue as positive and denied any direct dialogue between Syria and the US, stressing that there has been no real change in the American or Western policies on Syria so far. Following is the text of the full interview.Read more . . .
Where does ISIS get its technical equipment and the know-how to produce videos and run Internet sites? These are not qualities commonly found among fanatical fundamentalists anywhere; indeed most true radical fundamentalists tend to eschew technology. A supply of advice, technical assistance, and equipment comes from somewhere. Where does ISIS get the money for food, gasoline, clothes, ammunition, and Japanese pick-up trucks? And I wonder, did one of those wild-looking jihadi types just show up one day at an Iraqi car dealership and order a fleet of Japanese pick-ups? Were they delivered out on the desert or did a gang of jihadists march in, waving their Kalashnikovs, to drive them away?Read more . . .
The intellectual, political, media, and field confrontation of this Takfiri current [Daesh, Al-Nusra, IS] must be considered a kind of defense – a defense of Islam. It is not anymore a defense of a definite axis or regime or state or faction or sect or minority. They are threatening everyone. They are threatening Islam above all…Those who bet on the Americans are bargaining on a mirage. How do you bet on the very side which robs you, conspires against you, and had fabricated these and dispatched them to you?Read more . . .
Was Turkey behind last year’s Syrian chemical weapons attack? That is the question raised in a new exposé by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh on the intelligence debate over the deaths of hundreds of Syrians in Ghouta last year. The United States, and much of the international community, blamed forces loyal to the Assad government, almost leading to a U.S. attack on Syria. But Hersh reveals the U.S. intelligence community feared Turkey was supplying sarin gas to Syrian rebels in the months before the attack took place — information never made public as President Obama made the case for launching a strike. Hersh joins us to discuss his findings.Read more . . .
ISIS constitutes NATO’s mercenary expeditionary force, ravaging its enemies by proxy from Libya in North Africa to Lebanon and Syria in the Levant, to Iraq and even to the borders of Iran. Its seemingly inexhaustible supply of weapons, cash, and fighters can only be explained by multinational state sponsorship and safe havens provided by NATO ISIS’ enemies – primarily Syria, Hezbollah, Iran, and Iraq – cannot strike. DW’s report specifically notes how ISIS terrorists regularly flee certain demise in Syria by seeking safe haven in Turkey.Read more . . .