Tag Archives: Free Syrian Army

Syrian al-Qaeda Seizes US-Made Missiles in Fight

by Jason Ditz

Al-Qaeda’s Syrian wing, Jabhat al-Nusra, has turned on one of their traditional allies in Idlib Province, the US-backed Free Syrian Army wing called Division 13, accusing the group of planning to attack its own bases.

Nusra followed this up with attacks on the Division 13 bases, seizing both bases and a number of US-made anti-tank missiles from the group. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported a number of FSA fighters were detained.

Nusra dominates the Idlib Province as the head of a coalition of Islamist-leading rebel factions. This coalition includes, or at least included multiple US-backed factions who are recipients of US arms. The US has expressed concern about Russian airstrikes against Idlib, even if targeting al-Qaeda, on the grounds they threaten American allies.

This purge of Division 13 suggests this may soon be a concern of the past, with al-Qaeda apparently looking to further centralize their control over their “emirate” in Idlib, and other US allies in the coalition must likely be sleeping with one eye open tonight.

18 Rebels Killed in South Syria Car Bombing

by Jason Ditz

18 moderate rebels affiliated with the Free Syrian Army were killed in a car bomb attack in the southern Quneitra province today. The bombing targeted a base in the village of al-Isha, not far from the Israeli border.

There has yet to be any claim of responsibility, but one of the spokesmen for a rebel group in the area suggested it was likely the work of “ISIS sleeper cells.” ISIS has forces in this region, but no territory of their own so far south in Syria.

The FSA Southern Front reported that some key personnel were among the slain, including the Southern Front’s main commander, Abu Hamza al-Naimi, which suggests the attack was likely an assassination attempt as opposed to a random strike against an FSA base.

Though there was initially some talk of the attack being related to the ongoing ceasefire, most now say that is unlikely to be the case. ISIS is not a party to the ceasefire, and never suggested any intention of stopping their attacks.

Fact Check: Hillary Clinton Claims Russia Has ‘Not Gone After ISIS’

During the latest Democratic Debate Thursday, Hillary Clinton defended her reservations towards Russia by claiming that the Russians “have not gone after ISIS or any of the other terrorist groups.”

Clinton’s statement was in response to comments made by rival Bernie Sanders when he was asked if he was prepared to “move militarily” against Russia, or to “institute further economic sanctions.”

Sanders called the United States’ relationship with Russia “complicated,” and said that although he believes the U.S. should “do our best in developing positive relations with Russia,” he also stands by President Obama in believing that Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to be shown that his “aggressiveness is not going to go unmatched.”

Clinton replied that she believes an agreement on a cease-fire is “something that has to be implemented more quickly than the schedule that the Russians agreed to.”

[pull_quote_center]You know, the Russians wanted to buy time. Are they buying time to continue their bombardment on behalf of the Assad regime to further decimate what’s left of the opposition, which would be a grave disservice to any kind of eventual cease-fire?[/pull_quote_center]

Clinton also said she is worried that the Russians are doing “everything they can to destroy what’s left of the opposition,” and she claimed that “the Russians have not gone after ISIS or any of the other terrorist groups.”

[pull_quote_center]So let’s support what Secretary Kerry and the president are doing, but let’s hope that we can accelerate the cease-fire, because I fear that the Russians will continue their bombing, try to do everything they can to destroy what’s left of the opposition. And remember, the Russians have not gone after ISIS or any of the other terrorist groups.[/pull_quote_center]

Russia began launching airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria in Sept. 2015. Syrian State media claimed the airstrikes began after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad requested help, and that the move was criticized by the U.S.

[RELATED: Russian-Backed Syrian Army Defeats ISIS at Aleppo]

A report from Reuters on Jan. 20 claimed that Russian airstrikes in Syria are gradually weakening both ISIS militants and the Free Syrian Army, allowing Assad to gain more power and to make one of its most significant gains since the start of the Russian intervention,” by capturing the town of Salma in Latakia province.

The report noted that out of the “3,000 people killed by Russian air strikes in Syria since they began in September, nearly 900 were members” of ISIS. The group lost control of the city of Ramadi in December, and has cut fighters’ pay since its “oil-smuggling operations are hit by plunging prices.”

However, the report also noted that Russia’s operation has harmed rebel groups in the area, who are “reporting intensified air strikes and ground assaults in areas of western Syria that are of greatest importance to Assad.”

[RELATED: Reality Check: Proof U.S. Government Wanted ISIS To Emerge In Syria]

Investigative journalist Ben Swann reported on the origin of ISIS in March 2015, and he noted that ISIS grew out of a group of U.S.-backed rebels who were attempting to defeat Assad.

However, Swann said that even when the U.S. government became aware that ISIS was capturing U.S. equipment, it did nothing, “because ISIS fighters were taking the equipment back into Syria to continue fighting Assad, which was what the U.S. government wanted.”


For more election coverage, click here.

Flashback: Ben Swann’s Truth In Media on Syria

In September 2013, Ben Swann released a Truth In Media episode, What The Media Isn’t Telling You About Syria, which focused on what the mainstream media was ignoring regarding the civil war in Syria and explained how U.S. involvement would inevitably lead to the destruction of “millions of people.”

“The U.S. government continues to debate whether or not to arm the rebels in Syria, even as a new poll shows nearly 80% of Americans are saying ‘don’t do it,'” said Swann.

In this episode, Swann explained why U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) visited with General Salim Idris, the leader of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army.

Swann also revealed what the mainstream media would not (and still will not) discuss, including the truth about the unrest among Syrian civilians under President Bashar Al-Assad, the fact that the Al Nusra Front group is the Syrian wing of al Qaeda designated by the U.S as a terror organization, and that the Free Syrian Army lost thousands of members to Al Nusra Front.

“What you need to know,” said Swann, “is that what is happening in Syria is an enormous problem for the United States.”

[pull_quote_center]Al Qaeda in Iraq has publicly stated that their goal is to create an al Qaeda ‘super state,’ comprised of Iraq and Syria. By funding these so-called rebels, the U.S. government is handing al Qaeda the keys to that super state. By the United States supporting the overthrow of Assad, without question, we will hand Syria over to al Qaeda, make no mistake. And the slaughter of millions of Syrians, including Syrian Christians, Jews, Alawites and Muslims, will be on our hands.[/pull_quote_center]

Fast forward to today: ISIS- a group that once was quite small and struggling to gain power- easily absorbed members of the Free Syrian Army and al Qaeda-affiliated Al Nusra Front due to U.S. government involvement, and is now the most formidable terror organization on the planet.

Following the publication of this Truth In Media episode, mainstream media reports began surfacing stating that “weapons were being given to Syrian rebels.” According to CNN, the weapons were not American-made, but they were “funded and organized by the CIA.”

Less than one year after the U.S. gave weapons to Syrian “freedom fighters,” those weapons ended up with ISIS fighters. “Those ISIS fighters came from the group McCain insisted would help the U.S. overthrow Assad: the Free Syrian Army,” said Swann, who also explained that “the army was not only sending the Islamic State weapons, it was also sending them fighters,” in his Origin of Isis Truth In Media episode.

By June 2014, ISIS went from being a “no-name” group to one “heavily armed and trained by U.S. and Coalition Special Forces.”

“Our government trained rebel fighters in Syria who would become the group today known as ISIS,” said Swann. “We have watched them commit every violent atrocity you can imagine to people living in Iraq and Syria, and now we want American taxpayers to fund a 30-year war with them.”

Truth In Media’s What The Media Isn’t Telling You About Syria, published two years ago, serves to this day as necessary and meaningful information regarding conflict in Syria that won’t be seen on mainstream media. This episode provides insight for people around the world who are now searching for answers in the face of recent violence and the rise of the Islamic State.

Pentagon’s Syria Rebel Training Cost $2 Million Per Rebel

by Jason Ditz

When Congress approved $500 million to train a brand new force of “pro-US” Syrian rebels, they were promised the moon, with the Pentagon eyeing 3,000 fighters by year’s end and a path toward tens of thousands of loyal, heavily armed fighters.

The program was abandoned outright last month, with only 190 rebels ever trained, and only about half of them ever getting as far as Syria. Despite this, the Pentagon still managed to blow through most of the budget, capping out at $384 million, over $2 million per trainee.

The Pentagon insists that the training itself actually only cost $30,000 per trainee, but they blew through the rest of the money on weapons, vehicles, and ammunition. Of course, much of this wound up being immediately surrendered to al-Qaeda when the second class of trainees arrived in the country.

The first class of US trainees numbered 54, and were famously routed down to “four or five left.” The second class was between 70 and 75, though how many of them remained active after giving their arms to al-Qaeda was never clear.

Confusion as Pentagon Arms Syrian ‘Arab Groups’

by Jason Ditz

After ditching the $500 million “train-and-equip” program, the Obama Administration rapidly started making high-profile pronouncements about new arms shipments to assorted rebel factions. Dubbed “Arab groups” in Pentagon statements, the program is creating a lot of confusion, primarily over who they’re arming.

“Arab groups” aren’t really a specific thing in a largely Arab country like Syria, and while some airdrops were reported in Hasakeh Province, Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions openly talking up terrorist attacks are also claiming stepped up shipments of missiles from the US.

The Pentagon doesn’t seem to be really specific about anything involving this new program. Yesterday, they insisted that the rebels don’t need to be vetted because they’re fighting ISIS, but today they assured al-Jazeera that the unnamed leaders of these unnamed groups were vetted.

But if so, why is the US so desperate to keep these factions a secret? A lot of tiny factions across Syria style themselves as US-backed groups, mostly recipients of CIA weapons in years past, and while a lot of them assumed they’d be the recipients of this major new armament effort. A lot of them don’t seem to be in the mix so far though.

Somewhere along the line, some of those arms are probably going to start flowing toward the Kurdish YPG, and that’s going to start a whole new round of arguments with Turkey, which has repeatedly warned the US against arming the Kurds, even though the YPG is the primary faction in Hasakeh, and fighting ISIS.

In the meantime, however, the US airdrops remain shrouded in mystery, with assurances that whoever the US intended to arm was armed, and expectations that those factions, whoever they are, are going to do something at some point.

Russian Official Accuses U.S. of Bombing Desert, ‘Pretending’ to Bomb ISIS

Alexei Pushkov, the head of the lower house of the Russian parliament’s foreign affairs committee, told French website Europe 1 that the United States’ airstrike campaign was a failure, and the U.S. was only “pretending” to stop the advancing Islamic State.

“I think it’s the intensity that is important. The U.S.-led coalition has pretended to bomb Daesh (IS) for a year, without results,” Pushkov told Europe 1. “If you do it in a more efficient way, the results will be known,” he added.

Pushkov’s comments come days after Russia began its own airstrike campaign against IS in Syria. Russian officials have stated that they expect the campaign to last three to four months. Pushkov told Europe 1 that the U.S.-led coalition had launched more than 2,500 air strikes and had little success.

The International Business Times reported:

“Speaking at the UN in New York on 1 October, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the country would also attack other terrorist groups, including al-Nusra Front (an al-Qaeda affiliate) and ‘other terrorist groups recognised by the UN Security Council or Russian law.’

‘If it looks like a terrorist, if it acts like a terrorist, if it walks like a terrorist, if it fights like a terrorist, it’s a terrorist, right?’ Lavrov responded when asked to define what constitutes ‘other terrorist groups’.”

[RELATED: War Crimes Probe Urged After US Airstrikes Kill 22 Civilians in Kunduz Hospital]

These comments have created concern among U.S. officials that Russia may target groups who oppose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, including the U.S.-funded Free Syrian Army (FSA). Pushkov said, “The main target are the Daesh groups situated closest to Damascus. We need to eliminate this group or at least neutralise it and afterwards we’ll see what Syria’s future is.”

[RELATED: Russia Says ‘Volunteers’ Likely to Fight in Syria]

According to a translation of Pushkov’s Twitter provided by Sputnik, Pushkov stated, “[Senator John] McCain accused us of striking out at US-trained insurgents… However, since they have either run away or joined al-Qaeda, hitting them is a mission impossible.”

“The US-led coalition spent a whole year pretending they were striking ISIL targets but where are the results of these strikes?” Pushkov wondered.

Sputnik also reports that a Russian defense ministry spokesman said that the Russian air force had targeted Islamic State military equipment, communication facilities, arms depots, ammunition and fuel supplies, and had done so without hitting civilian targets.

The BBC reported that Assad called the U.S.-led coalition’s air strikes “counter-productive” measures which have only spread terrorism. Assad is now calling for a coalition between Syria, Russia, Iran and Iraq must succeed “or else the whole region will be destroyed.”


Report: Pentagon Suspends Syrian Rebel Training Program

by Jason Ditz

Though an official announcement on the matter has not been made yet, reports are emerging that the Pentagon has suspended the “train and equip” program intended to create a new faction of “pro-US” Syrian rebels, which has been dubbed the New Syrian Forces (NSF).

Two classes of NSF fighters ever reached Syria during the program’s history. The first class of 54 fighters was overrun quickly, and “four or five” were confirmed to still be active earlier this month.The second class, estimated at 70-75 fighters, entered Syria ten days ago.

If the first class was a failure, the second class was embarrassingly so, with the group almost immediately surrendering its weapons and vehicles to al-Qaeda. Centcom today released further details about the chain of events leading to this surrender.

The new details make Centcom’s timeline look even worse on the matter. The NSF forces entered Syria on 9/18, and Centcom spokesman Col. Patrick Ryder claimed to have first gotten information on the arms surrender on Sunday 9/20. The first media reports to that effect emerged Tuesday, 9/22, and on Wednesday 9/23 Ryder himself loudly denied the media reports, accusing al-Qaeda of making the whole thing up even though he’d known for days it was true. The Pentagon finally admitted what happened on 9/25.

The US has faced heavy criticism for its $500 million training program, both for wasting huge amounts of money training almost no one, and for throwing large amounts of weaponry at the country even though their track record shows that those weapons overwhelmingly end up in the hands of Islamist factions.

Despite reports that the training itself has halted, Col. Ryder suggested about 50 more fighters, the sum total of classes three and four, might be sent to Syria anyhow.

New US-Trained Rebels in Syria Gave Their Weapons to al-Qaeda

by Jason Ditz

It’s already been heavily reported how badly the first class of New Syrian Forces (NSF), also known as Division 30, did after being trained by the US and sent into Syria. There were 54 of them to start, and last week Centcom conceded there were only “four or five left.” This may still look like a runaway success compared to the second class.

The second class entered Syria by way of Turkey on Friday, and according to reports there were between 70 and 75 of them in total. Today, reports out of Syria suggest that the group immediately took its weapons and vehicles to al-Qaeda territory and turned them all over to them.

A statement from al-Qaeda’s Syria branch said the group’s membership had agreed to give them everything in return for “safe passage,” and that the leader of the second class, Anas Ibrahim Obeid, plans to issue a statement repudiating the US training strategy.

Obeid told al-Qaeda he “tricked” the US coalition because he wanted their weapons. Ironically he would’ve been one of the top ranked NSF forces left, after Lt. Col. Mohammad al-Dhaher resigned this weekend, complained the program was “not serious.”

The latest loss speaks volumes about the state of US vetting of its “pro-US” rebels, at a time when reports suggest they intend to dramatically lower those vetting requirements in the future for the sake of faster arming of rebel factions.

Syria Rebels See Longer War With Russia Involved

by Jason Ditz

Talk of increased Russian military involvement in Syria has the various rebel factions simultaneously conceding that it’s a setback to their civil war, and one that’s liable to extend the conflict many additional years, while threatening huge Russia casualties and “another Afghanistan” for the troops being deployed.

The rebels are trying to shoehorn the model of the 1979-1989 Soviet occupation of Afghanistan on the war, pushing the idea of forming a new mujahideen to combat the Russians. The differences are stark, however, as this war has been ongoing for years before there was a hint of increased Russian involvement, and ISIS is the major power in Syria at this point, at least from a territorial perspective.

Indeed, the increased involvement is at this point largely speculative, with Russia denying that anything they’re doing is really “new” but rather just a fulfillment of existing military deals with Syria. The “escalation” has been heavily hyped by US officials, who have lashed Russia even though they’re nominally both opposed to ISIS.

The Islamist faction, led by al-Qaeda, which has been trying to push into Latakia is blaming Russia for the increased resistance they are encountering, saying it shows that Russia is “taking the lead,” though most of the battles there haven’t been against the Syrian military in the first place, but rather against local Alawites, supportive of the government, who rightly believe they’ll be wiped out if al-Qaeda seizes their coastal homeland.

Russia’s primary interest in Syria has always been their naval base in Tartus, which could be imperiled if the Syrian government is completely wiped out, yet the claims by secular FSA rebels that the Russian government is opposed to a “political solution” is a flat out lie, as Russia has been trying to get the FSA and the other rebels to talk political settlement for years, with those rebels ruling out anything short of complete regime change.

Some of those meetings occurred as recently as last month, and an attempt by Russia to organize “unity government” talks collapsed quite recently on the refusal of the FSA and other rebels to even take part. Though the US at time gave lip service to the “unity” idea, they have similarly insisted recently that any “deal” needs to amount to full regime change, ousting Assad and his inner circle in favor of pro-US figures.

That’s where the big problem lies, as Russia believes, and probably rightly so, that installing a pro-US regime will cost them their naval base, the only Russian base in the Mediterranean.

Al-Qaeda Linked Group Reportedly Seizes US-Donated Weapons from Moderate Syrian Rebels

When the Obama administration announced its plan to arm moderate rebel groups in Syria in an effort to stop ISIS’ rampage throughout the region, Senator Rand Paul warned that radical militant groups would likely seize the weapons and use them against the United States. Said Senator Paul on Fox News’ Hannity, “I’m not for arming radical jihadists, I’m not for arming radical Islam.  And I think most of the weapons – either intentionally or unintentionally – that have been given to the Syrian rebels, have basically just gone on through to ISIS.  If you give them to the moderate rebels – the so-called moderate rebels – that’s just a stopping point because ISIS takes them away.”

Now, International Business Times is reporting that Senator Paul’s prediction that American weapons would likely fall into the wrong hands may have come true. Over the weekend, al-Qaeda affiliated rebels with the militant group Jabhat al-Nusra defeated Harakat Hazm and the Syria Revolutionaries’ Front (SRF), two Free Syrian Army associated moderate rebel groups that were armed and trained by the US, after a five-day siege against the villages of Jabal al-Zawiya in Syria’s Idlib province. Rami Abdulrahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told Reuters, “Dozens of [Syria Revolutionaries’ Front leader Jamal Maarouf’s] fighters defected and joined Nusra, that is why the group won.”

Following the battle, Twitter accounts associated with al-Nusra began boasting that US-donated weapons and food aid had been seized. The list of spoils included TOW anti-tank missiles like those being fired by US-supported rebels in the above-embedded Telegraph video. The reported weapons seizure has yet to be verified by an independent source. An example report by Ar Raqqah Media, which claims that al-Nusra also seized tanks, trucks, ammo, and more during the battle, can be seen in the below screenshot.


While ISIS and al-Nusra are not officially allied and have battled each other in the past, CNN reported last month that US-led airstrikes have recently been blamed for encouraging the two groups to put aside their differences in strategy and form a coalition against the US and its allies. Raed al-Fares, a local activist in the Idlib province, told The Washington Post, “When American airstrikes targeted al-Nusra, people felt solidarity with them because Nusra are fighting the regime, and the strikes are helping the regime… Now people think that whoever in the Free Syrian Army gets support from the U.S.A. is an agent of the regime.”

Syrian analyst Aymen al-Tammimi told The Telegraph, “As a movement, the SRF is effectively finished…Nusra has driven them out of their strongholds of Idlib and Hama.” Now that the Syria Revolutionaries’ Front and Harakat Hazm have suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of al-Nusra, President Obama’s strategy of using moderate Syrian rebels as ground forces in a campaign against ISIS appears to be crumbling.

Did John McCain Misspeak Or Admit To Meeting With ISIS?

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) appeared on Fox News on Monday and provided criticism of both the Obama administration’s handling of fighting the Islamic State and statements from Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who told CBS News on Monday that requesting giving weapons to Syrian rebels was a poor decision.

McCain said that no Arab states are willing to provide support in fighting the Islamic State, although the State Department reported that there are several Arab states “in the discussion phase” willing to participate in airstrikes against militants in Iraq. “I have just heard, and it may be wrong, that no Arab country has agreed, Middle Eastern country, has agreed to engage in air or ground support against ISIS. This is a direct result of American indecision and lack of credibility,” McCain said. He then said that Arab states do not take Obama seriously because he compared ISIS to Yemen and Somalia.

“By the way, I could show the President targets on the map today that he could be bombing and killing ISIS people. same ones that carried out this hideous decision. Why the delay in a bombing campaign in Syria? I’d be very interested to know,” McCain continued.

Sean Hannity then began discussing the cease-fire between Syrian rebels and ISIS, to which McCain adamantly denied, saying “it’s not true, it’s not true, it’s not true. Whether- I don’t care about the report, I know these people intimately, we talk to them all the time.” It is unclear if McCain was referring to the Free Syrian Army or to Islamic State militants.

“Let me ask you about what your colleague Rand Paul said about it this morning. He said it’s a mistake to arm them, most of the arms we’ve given to the s-called moderate rebels have wound up in the hands of ISIS because ISIS simply takes it from them, or it is given them, and we mistakenly actually, uh, give it to some of the radicals,” said Hannity.

“Has Rand Paul ever been to Syria?” McCain repiled. “Has he ever met with ISIS? Has he ever met with any of these people? No, no, no. We’re going to have a fight, because it’s patently false,” McCain said. That statement may add fuel to the arguments from speculators who believe McCain met with members of ISIS and there’s photographic proof, although the rumor was never truly confirmed.

The New York Times recently reported that the photos of McCain are not with members of ISIS, based on assertions from McCain’s communication director Brian Rogers and Syrian Emergency Task Force executive director Mouaz Moustafa. Whether or not McCain indeed posed for pictures with ISIS members, the Senator has been criticized for not understanding who has aligned themselves with the group.

“As much as Senator McCain says he’s vetted these groups, we simply do not have guarantees that they won’t work with ISIS, when it serves their purpose, as they were doing a year ago. In fact, various reports continue to pour out of the region, about moderate factions striking deals with ISIS. The potential for these weapons ending up in the hands of ISIS is high,” read a press release from VoteVets.org.

“I know these people,” McCain repeated to Hannity. “I’m in contact with them all the time. And he is not. He is not. He is not.”

McCain refused to accept the reports that Syrian rebels and Islamic State militants had agreed to a nonaggression pact, and said that the Free Syrian Army continues to be attacked by both ISIS and Bashar al-Assad. “I know that we can make them strong and resilient,” said McCain.

Paul responded to McCain’s statements through the Daily Beast. “Here’s the problem. He [McCain] did meet with ISIS, and had his picture taken, and didn’t know it was happening at the time. That really shows you the quandary of determining who are the moderates and who aren’t. If you don’t speak Arabic, and you don’t understand that some people will lie to you—I really think that we don’t have a good handle on who are the moderates and who aren’t, and I think the objective evidence is that the ones doing most of the fighting and most of the battles among the rebels in Syria are the radical Islamists.”

ISIS Made by America | Jihadist Fighter: ‘I am a fighter made by America’

Recently, President Obama along with his friends in Europe and Middle Eastern allies, announced their plans to ramp up support for the so-called “moderate rebels” in Syria and Iraq.

BenSwann.com has reported extensively that US intelligence on the ground in Syria have been supporting al-Qauda linked militants for years in a proxy war to overthrow the Assad regime.

As Benswann.com’s Joshua Cook noted in a previous article, Foreign Policy’s Marc Lynch, said that the scheme of arming rebels is “just wrong” and it’s a strategy that won’t work. He noted that an “external support for insurgents typically makes conflicts longer and bloodier.”

According to the Washington Post, some rebel groups received training and financial and military support to overtake Muammar Gadhafi and battle Bashar al Assad.

The idea is “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” and that is the point of view America and our allies have approached these opposition groups.

And frankly, this plan is a failure. The biggest failure of this was in Afghanistan, where we taught and supplied a group to fight the Soviet Union only to have them become stridently anti-Western.

“In that environment, Al Qaeda flourished and established the camps where perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were trained. Yet instead of learning from its mistakes, the United States keeps making them,” wrote Souad Mekhennet, co-author of “The Eternal Nazi” and a visiting fellow at Harvard, Johns Hopkins and the Geneva Centre for Security policy.

We empowered these groups whose members were either already anti-American or anti-Western, or they became that way over time.  According to interviews with members of militant groups, such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’s Al Nusra Front (which is aligned with al Qaeda),  that is exactly what happened with some of the fighters in Libya and even with factions of the Free Syrian Army.

“For a long time, Western and Arab states supported the Free Syrian Army not only with training but also with weapons and other materiel. The Islamic State commander, Abu Yusaf, said that members of the Free Syrian Army who had received training — from the United States, Turkey and Arab military officers at an American base in Southern Turkey — have now joined the Islamic State,” wrote Mekhennet.

The Washington Post interview with a rebel insurgent below reveals the impossible task of controlling “moderate” rebels from joining more extreme ones:

Abu Saleh left Libya in 2012 for Turkey and then crossed into Syria. “First I fought under what people call the ‘Free Syrian Army’ but then switched to Al Nusra. And I have already decided I will join the Islamic State when my wounds are healed,” the 28-year-old said from a hospital in Turkey, where he is receiving medical treatment. He had been injured during a battle with the Syrian Army, he said, and was brought to Turkey with false documents.  “Some of the Syrian people who they trained have joined the Islamic State and others jabhat al Nusra,” he said, smiling. He added, “Sometimes I joke around and say that I am a fighter made by America.”

Cook asked award-winning journalist and researcher Nizar Nayouf his thoughts on ISIS, America’s role and if there was any truth to the Washington Post’s article. (Nayouf spent 10 years in prison and was tortured for speaking out against the Syrian government.) Nayouf first broke the story about US troops training insurgents in Jordan.

“What is published by Washington Post is totally right,” said Nayouf. ” The problem is that I, and others, have been the first one who published such as information in 2011 and 2012, but nobody believes us, because we are not Washington Post or New work Times! For example: in November 2011, I published a prolong report about Jabhat Al-Nusrah and who was organizing it. It was 2 months before it announced itself and before anyone in the world heard its name! Later, all what I mentioned has proved to be exact!”
America’s foreign policy of arming and training radical militants have made the world more dangerous – not safer.

Al Qaeda Backed Syrian Rebels Decapitate Young Boy (Warning: Graphic)

Photo Credit: Time Magazine
Al Qaeda Backed Syrian Rebels Decapitate Young Boy– Photo Credit: TIME Magazine

We have been providing you all coverage on the Syrian civil war for quite some time. Atrocities surface every so often. We first realized the barbaric face of the Free Syrian Army when one member cut the heart of a soldier out and proceeded to eat it. The rebel claimed the act in the name of Allah. Now, we see yet another crime against humanity that is a regular practice of the rebels.

Time Magazine was given exclusive access to images, which witness the Syrian rebels in action. The above decapitation is one of four that occurred that day. Below is the photographer’s eye witness account of the event.

“The man was brought in to the square. His eyes were blindfolded. I began shooting pictures, one after the other. It was to be the fourth execution that day I would photograph. I was feeling awful; several times I had been on the verge of throwing up. But I kept it under control because as a journalist I knew I had to document this, as I had the three previous beheadings I had photographed that day, in three other locations outside Aleppo.

The crowd began cheering. Everyone was happy. I knew that if I tried to intervene I would be taken away, and that the executions would go ahead. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to change what was happening and I might put myself in danger.

I saw a scene of utter cruelty: a human being treated in a way that no human being should ever be treated. But it seems to me that in two and a half years, the war has degraded people’s humanity. On this day the people at the execution had no control over their feelings, their desires, their anger. It was impossible to stop them.

I don’t know how old the victim was but he was young. He was forced to his knees. The rebels around him read out his crimes from a sheet of paper. They stood around him. The young man was on his knees on the ground, his hands tied. He seemed frozen.

Two rebels whispered something into his ear and the young man replied in an innocent and sad manner, but I couldn’t understand what he said because I don’t speak Arabic.

At the moment of execution the rebels grasped his throat. The young man put up a struggle. Three or four rebels pinned him down. The man tried to protect his throat with his hands, which were still tied together. He tried to resist but they were stronger than he was and they cut his throat. They raised his head into the air. People waved their guns and cheered. Everyone was happy that the execution had gone ahead.

That scene in Syria, that moment, was like a scene from the Middle Ages, the kind of thing you read about in history books. The war in Syria has reached the point where a person can be mercilessly killed in front of hundreds of people—who enjoy the spectacle.

As a human being I would never have wished to see what I saw. But as a journalist I have a camera and a responsibility. I have a responsibility to share what I saw that day. That’s why I am making this statement and that’s why I took the photographs. I will close this chapter soon and try never to remember it.”

The photographer’s name is not published to protect his identity. This is the face of the creature, which Assad fights against. This is the face of the creature, which president Obama wishes to support. When Obama addressed America two days ago to try and rally support for a Syrian strike he made no mention of taking Al Qaeda’s weapons. In fact, he only mentioned them once in the entire 15 minute speech. Instead, he declared more than 10 times that Assad would be disarmed to give the upper-hand to the Al Qaeda backed, Free Syrian Army.

McCain, Graham & Boehner Stand With Obama On Syrian Attack


This Labor Day weekend played host to a meeting between John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and President Obama at the White House. Obama is seeking help from the two unpopular republican senators in an attempt  to rally Congress to vote for a Syrian attack.

McCain suggested to Obama that they must embolden the Free Syrian Army, which has direct ties to Al Qaeda, so that they may prevail over Syria’s President Assad. “It is my hope that even a limited military strike can degrade Assad’s ability to project force, particularly using chemical weapons,” said Graham.  Graham continues, “There seems to be a pretty solid plan from this administration to upgrade the opposition.”

According to an unrelated statement by Harry Reid, John McCain can get the job done in the Senate:

“See I don’t need a lot of Republicans to help me. And that’s why I so admire John McCain. John McCain and I came to the House together 31 years ago. We came to the Senate together at the same time. He and I have fought over the years but we’re also very very good, good friends. And he broke away from the pack. So, he doesn’t control the Republican caucus but he controls probably 10 people there. That’s all I need.”

If Congress is to block a strike on Syria it will almost certainly have to come from the House. However, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) are now at Obama’s side after a meeting today. Regardless of how Congress votes, a Syrian war may be inevitable. Secretary of State John Kerry says that Obama has already made up his mind. When asked if Obama would still strike Syria if Congress voted against intervention- Kerry refused to answer.