The Obama administration has ordered the start of US military operations inside Syria, in addition to ongoing air strikes and renewed troop deployments in Iraq. Officials from US Central Command in the Middle East informed the Wall Street Journal late Monday that “the Pentagon is preparing to conduct reconnaissance flights over Syria.” The surveillance missions would be aimed at gathering the necessary information to carry out air strikes and possible ground assaults.
The pretext for military operations into Syria is to curb the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Sunni-based Islamist force that has captured much of eastern Syria during the country’s three-year civil war and which this year seized large areas of western and northern Iraq. The US began air attacks on ISIS in Iraq earlier this month, claiming they would be limited to preventing the massacre of thousands of members of the Yazidi religious minority. The air campaign soon escalated into providing air support to Kurdish offensives to retake Mosul Dam and pushing ISIS fighters back from positions they held within 30 kilometres of Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region.
Last week, General Martin Dempsey, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, laid out the justification for extending the air war into Syria, telling a press conference: “Can they [ISIS] be defeated without addressing that part of the organisation that resides in Syria? The answer is no.” The murder of American journalist James Foley, who was being held prisoner in Syria by ISIS, has been seized upon throughout the American political and media establishment to call for attacks to begin.
It is clear that ISIS did not materialize from sand dunes in Iraq’s northern region, nor are they procuring immense armories of weaponry by picking Kalashnikovs from date trees. They are the visible materialization of years of material support openly reported by the Western media allegedly sent to “moderate rebels” who do not exist. If they did exist, there has been no plausible explanation to account for how ISIS has managed to procure more weapons, cash, fighters, and influence throughout the region than “moderates” receiving backing from the combined resources of the US, Europe, Turkey, the Saudis, Qataris, and Jordanians.
The logical conclusion to be drawn by those observing the last 3 years of immense funding, weapon deliveries, political, diplomatic, and even military training for terrorists fighting in Syria and now in Iraq, is that there were never any “moderates” to begin with. It was, as veteran journalist Seymour Hersh had warned in 2007, always sectarian extremists ideologically aligned with Al Qaeda that the West had planned to utilize against its enemies in the Middle East.
The object of his illegal trip to Syria was to meet the chiefs of staff of the Free Syrian Army. According to him, the organization was composed “exclusively of Syrians” fighting for “their freedom” against the “Alouite dictatorship” (sic). The tour organizers published this photograph to attest to the meeting.
- John McCain and the heads of the Free Syrian Army. In the left foreground, Ibrahim al-Badri, with which the Senator is talking. Next, Brigadier General Salim Idris (with glasses).
If we can see Brigadier General Idriss Salem, head of the Free Syrian Army, one can also see Ibrahim al-Badri (foreground on the left) with whom the senator is talking. Back from the surprise trip, John McCain claimed that all those responsible for the Free Syrian Army were “moderates who can be trusted” (sic).