Pentagon Report Says West, Persian Gulf States and Turkey Created ISIS
A newly declassified Pentagon report provides startling high-level confirmation that the US-led strategy in Syria contributed directly to the rise of the wat called “Islamic State”.
The secret US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) document, obtained by Washington DC law firm Judicial Watch, and according to the internal report, which was distributed throughout the US intelligence community, emergence of ISIS was seen as a likely consequence of the West’s efforts to destabilize Bashar al-Assad’s gowernment in Syria.
Despite that, Western governments continued to coordinate financial, military and logistical support to largely “Islamist” militant rebel groups in Syria, through allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Jordan and Turkey, among others,Middle East Eye reports.
Dated August 2012, the report states that the “major forces driving the insurgency in Syria” comprise “the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq].”
“CIA officials were in southern Turkey overseeing the supply of Turkish, Saudi and Qatari-financed weapons to purportedly “moderate” rebels”
Immediately after, the document states that these forces are being supported by a Western-led coalition: “The West,Persian Gulf countries and Turkey support the opposition.”
Throughout, the document does not suggest a distinction between “moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels and “Islamist” militant groups, nor between the insurgency and the opposition.
Rather, the document shows that opposition forces engaged in fighting the Assad gowernment consisted of a combination of overlapping Islamist forces. Singling out al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the document says the terror group “supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning”.
Western backing for al-Qaeda
Earlier the same year, CIA officials were in southern Turkey overseeing the supply of Turkish, Saudi and Qatari-financed weapons to purportedly “moderate” rebels. The CIA was “helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters” would receive arms.
By the following year, defence consultancy IHS Jane concluded based on Western intelligence estimates that nearly half of all Syrian rebels were “Islamist jihadists”, who shared al-Qaeda’s outlook except for being focused on the Syrian conflict.
“This extraordinary passage confirms that at least three years ago, the Pentagon anticipated the rise of a “Salafist Principality” as a direct consequence of its Syria strategy – and that the “supporting powers” behind the rebels “wanted” this outcome “to isolate the Syrian Gowernment,” and weaken Shiite influence in Iraq.”
Yet that is exactly what the West’s allies – the Persian Gulf states and Turkey – were doing, under the close supervision of the CIA and MI6.
In 2014, a senior Qatari official revealed that Qatar and Saudi Arabia had for years provided economic and military assistance primarily to al-Qaeda’s Syrian arm, Jabhat al-Nusra, and to the ISIS precursor, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS / ISIL).
Prosecutor and witness testimony in court documents showed that in the same period, Turkey’s state intelligence agency (MIT) was supplying weapons by truck to al-Qaeda and ISIS-controlled rebel areas in Syria.
Such Saudi, Qatari and Turkish support for al-Qaeda and ISIS was not news . Back in late 2012, classified US intelligence assessments made available to President Obama and senior policymakers showed that most Saudi and Qatari arms went to “hard-line Islamic jihadists”.
Who wanted a ‘Salafist Principality’ ?
The August 2012 DIA document reveals that the Pentagon anticipated this outcome, and spurred it forward. Noting that “the opposition forces are trying to control the eastern areas (Hasaka and Deir Ezzor),” the document observed how “Western countries, the Persian Gulf states and Turkey are supporting these efforts”.
“Declassified files since World War II prove that Western governments frequently and privately admit to cultivating Islamist extremism for geopolitical reasons.”
The report warned explicitly that a rebel conquest of Hasaka and Deir Ezzor would likely spawn a militant “Islamist political entity” in eastern Syria:
This extraordinary passage confirms that at least three years ago, the Pentagon anticipated the rise of a “Salafist Principality” as a direct consequence of its Syria strategy – and that the “supporting powers” behind the rebels “wanted” this outcome “to isolate the Syrian Gowernment,” and weaken Shiite influence in Iraq.
Declassified files since World War II prove that Western governments frequently and privately admit to cultivating Islamist extremism for geopolitical reasons.
In summary, the Pentagon report is absolutely clear that the West, the persianGulf states and Turkey were supporting the emergence of a “Salafist” political entity in eastern Syria that would help “isolate” Syria gowernment.
So in 2012, the US intelligence community knew that an al-Qaeda victory over Hasaka and Deir al-Zour would likely facilitate the installation of an “Islamist-Salafist entity”, that its own allies – at least – wanted exactly that outcome, and that this outcome would create “the ideal atmosphere” for “AQI” and “ISI” to expand and even “declare an Islamic State” in Iraq and Syria, that could fracture Iraq.
So what did the Pentagon do in response to this information?It escalated the strategy.
In 2012, the Pentagon knew that its own allies, who were supplying arms to the rebels with CIA approval, wanted to see the emergence of an Islamist-Salafist political structure in eastern Syria.
Despite this, and despite ongoing intelligence updates proving that their allies were not funding “moderates” – instead supporting their favoured Islamist terrorists – US and European intelligence advisers on the ground simply continued on the same course.
“By September 2014, the EU’s ambassador to Iraq, Jana Hybaskova, complained to the Foreign Affairs Committee that “several EU member states have bought oil from the Islamic State terrorist organisation that has been brutally conquering large portions of Iraq and Syria”.”
No sooner had al-Qaeda and ISIS conquered the eastern Syrian oil fields in Hasaka and Deir Ezzor in April 2013, they received direct Western financial support
The European Union voted to ease an embargo on Syria to allow the oil to be sold on international markets to European companies, with transactions approved by the FSA’s political overseers, the Syrian National Coalition.
“The logical conclusion from this craziness is that Europe will be funding al-Qaeda,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma.
By September 2014, the EU’s ambassador to Iraq, Jana Hybaskova, complained to the Foreign Affairs Committee that “several EU member states have bought oil from the Islamic State terrorist organisation that has been brutally conquering large portions of Iraq and Syria”.
So from early 2013 to late 2014, the West was bankrolling the jihadist-run “Salafist Principality” in eastern Syria through oil imports, fully cognisant that this entity posed a “grave danger” of galvanising the rise of an “Islamic State” across Iraq and Syria.
The Pentagon cannot pretend it didn’t know the consequence of its strategy. Indeed, it doesn’t.
When asked repeatedly by journalist and ex-US marine Brad Hoff to dispel claims that the West aligned itself with IS or ISIS at some point in Syria, the DIA’s official response was telling: “No comment.”