"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Turkey and Saudi Arabia arm Islamists in Syria

A Jaysh al-Islam (Army of Islam) rebel fighter walks through a hole in the wall of a position which they said they took from forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad at the Tal-Kurdi frontline in the Eastern Ghouta of Damascus, May 10, 2015. (REUTERS/Amer Almohibany)

U.S. "Allies" Arming Islamists

  • Gee like I didn't know this.  Still it is nice to see that the corporate controlled media machine is starting to report the truth about our Islamist "allies" of Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
  • Now maybe, just maybe, the corrupt media will address where ISIS is getting their weapons from.  Say it together:  C-I-A.

(The Independent)  -  Turkey and Saudi Arabia are actively supporting a hardline coalition of Islamist rebels against Bashar al-Assad’s regime that includes al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, in a move that has alarmed Western governments.

The two countries are focusing their backing for the Syrian rebels on the combined Jaish al-Fatah, or the Army of Conquest, a command structure for jihadist groups in Syria that includes Jabhat al-Nusra, an extremist rival to Isis which shares many of its aspirations for a fundamentalist caliphate.

The decision by the two leading allies of the West to back a group in which al-Nusra plays a leading role has alarmed Western governments and is at odds with the US, which is firmly opposed to arming and funding jihadist extremists in Syria’s long-running civil war.

It threatens to trump Washington’s own attempt to train pro-Western opposition fighters, announced by President Barack Obama a year ago but finally launched only last week. The number of fighters involved is small and, crucially, the State Department insists that they would take the field against Isis and not against the regime.

Syria War 2015 - Heavy Clashes In Idlib Continue As Rebels Overrun The Fanar Military Checkpoint

Free Syrian Army fighters gather on Nahlaya Front in Idlib, in preparation
for an operation to take over Ariha city May 9, 2015. Ariha is one of the
last cities in Idlib governorate controlled by forces loyal to Syria's President
Bashar Al-Assad, according to the fighters. (REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi)

The new joint approach follows an agreement reached in early March when Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the recently crowned Saudi King Salman in Riyadh, diplomats have told The Independent.

The Army of Conquest – which also numbers the extremist groups Ahrar al-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa among its seven members – has a command centre in Idlib, northern Syria. Turkish officials admit giving logistical and intelligence support to the command headquarters. Although they deny giving direct help to al-Nusra, they acknowledge that the group would be beneficiaries.

They also acknowledge links with Ahrar al-Sham, which is held to be extremist by the US, but has fought against Isis, as has al-Nusra in some parts of Syria. Turkish officials claim that bolstering Ahrar al-Sham will weaken the influence of al-Nusra.

Material support – arms and money – have been coming from the Saudis, say rebels and officials, with the Turks facilitating its passage. The border villages of Guvecci, Kuyubasi, Hacipasa, Besaslan, Kusakli and Bukulmez are the favoured routes, according to rebel sources.

The joint approach by Turkey and Saudi Arabia graphically illustrates how the interests of the Sunni regional powers are diverging from those of the US in Syria. Washington firmly opposes arming and funding jihadist extremists in Syria’s civil war. It conducted air strikes against al-Nusra positions in Aleppo – claiming the group was plotting terrorist attacks on the West – on the first day of the current bombing campaign against Isis.

There have been complaints from the Saudis that the US, needing the support of Shia Iran against Isis in Iraq, and hopeful of an accord over Iran’s nuclear programme, is becoming less interested in the removal of Tehran’s client regime in Damascus.

Further evidence of dissatisfaction over the US approach among Sunni states came yesterday with the news that King Salman has withdrawn from a summit with Barack Obama at the White House on the Iran nuclear talks this week: he will be represented instead by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef. Of the six heads of Gulf States invited, only the emirs of Qatar and Kuwait are now due to attend.

Over Syria, the view of Sunni powers is that US action is too little, too late. It has been almost a year since Mr Obama first announced the $500m programme for the training of opposition fighters.

US officials maintained that the long run-up has been largely due to the strenuous vetting procedure for recruits. Several CIA organised “moderate” militias in the past had failed to stand up to the hardline groups and retreated, often abandoning their arms. One of the most notable and, for Washington, embarrassing, instances of this came last year when the Harakat al-Hazm gave up its bases and US funded advanced weaponry to al-Nusra. There have also widespread allegations of human rights abuses by the Western backed groups from local people.

So far, 400 recruits have been cleared by the Americans to receive light arms training in the current programme. The 90 who will start in training camps in Turkey, Jordan and Saudi Arabia are not expected to be combat ready for several months and the Pentagon estimates that it will take three years before a full force of 15,000 can be deployed.

Read More . . . .

Syria War 2015 - Hezbollah In Heavy Fighting With Syrian Rebels In The Battle for Qalamoun

A Nusra Front fighter carries a shell near a Nusra Front flag on his weapon in Jisr al-Shughour town, after rebels took control of the area April 25, 2015. Islamist insurgents including al-Qaeda's wing in Syria Nusra Front seized the strategic northwestern Syrian town of Jisr al-Shughour on Saturday, for the first time in the four year conflict. Syrian state media said the army had redeployed to the town's surroundings "to avoid civilian casualties". Opposition fighters and the Syrian Observatory for Human rights said that the town was now totally controlled by the insurgents. (REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah)
(Yahoo News)

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