A recent video provides crucial background to the truce agreement that the US and Russia are now trying to implement in Syria. Before discussing this video, some background is necessary regarding the truce itself.
This new truce was agreed-to on September 9th, and, under its terms, for the first time, the US won’t do anything to stop Russia’s and Syria’s governments’ continued bombing of Al Qaeda in Syria, which used to call itself Al Nusra there, and which jihadist group the US government had long been protecting in Syria, because Al Nusra was providing the crucial leadership for Syria’s other jihadist factions that — along with Al Nusra and with ISIS — have been trying to overthrow and replace the Syrian government, which government-overthrow and replacement are strongly backed by the US and its Gulf State (Arab monarchies) allies (the owners of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and UAE).
Whereas America’s Gulf State allies (the royal families who own those countries) are fundamentalist Sunnis who insist upon spreading Sunni Sharia law abroad (via their funding of Al Qaeda and other foreign jihadists), the Russian and Syrian governments are secular and strongly oppose any jihadists as threats to secular rule. The United States supports its Gulf State allies because those royal families intend — if the non-sectarian government of Syria can be replaced by a fundamentalist Sunni regime there — to pipeline their oil and gas through Syria into the European Union, which is the world’s largest energy-market.
The US oil and gas and pipeline firms would move and market that Arabic oil to Europe. The US would be the middle-man between the Arab monarchies and the EU. And Bashar al-Assad and his secular government in Syria would be gone. It’s that secular Assad government which is the sole block against this pipeline-dream by the US and Arabic aristocracies: a dream they’ve shared since at least 1949, and which Syria — the most secular nation in the Middle East — has always blocked from fulfillment.
Leading up to the September 9th truce, was an incident in which US-backed forces were almost bombed by Syria’s and Russia’s forces there, and the lives of some of America’s 300 Special Forces and CIA personnel who were advising the fundamentalist Sunni fighters who had been imported (by America’s allies) into Syria to overthrow Assad, were thought to have been placed into jeopardy. On August 22nd, the US government threatened both Russia and Syria with war if any of America’s 300 Syrian invaders got killed by Syria’s or Russia’s bombs. The seriousness of this situation helped to produce the new US-Russia truce agreement in Syria.
The US (along with its Gulf State allies) has been arming and training what it calls «moderate rebel forces» in Syria, to overthrow Assad; and originally tagged them as the «Free Syrian Army» (FSA). However, some of those people (most of whom were themselves fundamentalist Sunnis) migrated into Al Nusra (since Al Qaeda is a fundamentalist-Sunni organization that’s experienced at leading such people), and others were killed in fighting, and so America helped to create the «New Syrian Army» (NSA), to carry on the war as the FSA was fading almost into insignificance.
The US now took advantage of the intense resentment that ISIS elicited from the residents in the Syrian province of Deir al-Zour after ISIS took over there. It’s a fundamentalist-Sunni area, whose people dislike Syria’s secular government (in a July 2015 Western-sponsored poll in all regions of Syria, they showed a higher-than-average rate of dissatisfaction with Assad, as compared to the other regions), but they aren’t so extreme that most of them accept ISIS (which is the purest of all Sunni-fundamentalism). (In that same poll, 49% in Deir al-Zour disliked ISIS, while only 39% liked ISIS; 76% of all Syrians disliked ISIS, and only 21% of all Syrians liked ISIS.) The NSA originated in Deir al-Zour, and welcomed the CIA’s support, not only against Assad, but against ISIS.
ISIS jihadists in Syria killed a jihadist from the NSA (one of Obama’s ‘moderate forces’), and found on his corpse a video of training that his group had received from US Special Forces (and/or the CIA or their contractors) who are working there to overthrow Assad, and also to defeat ISIS, which likewise is trying to overthrow Assad. (Some of America’s allies are at war against others of America’s allies: the situation in this war is a mess, but that’s the way espionage and international skullduggery often are.) ISIS then prepared a propaganda video using segments from that video, and, among other things, it showed NSA’s support by the United States. ISIS uses such propaganda to convince locals to avoid jihadists who (like that corpse) are allied with the US, and to support ISIS instead. Here is the video; and a summary of its revealing excerpts from the NSA’s video, follows after this ISIS propaganda-video.
At 2:40-4:10, a CIA (or else Special Forces, or a hired contractor) trainer teaches his «New Syrian Army» jihadist how to deceive Western audiences so as to build public support in the US and Europe for these jihadists’ war against both ISIS and Assad. At 3:00, the stooge-jihadist practices to his trainer by saying, «We want to make Daesh [ISIS] busy on the battlefronts, so that it become possible for the rest of the Free Syrian Army [America’s main mercenaries fighting there against Assad] factions to strike them».
The CIA trainer says that the stooge’s «hand movements» are okay, «but moving your legs — just keep them still like this,» and he shows him how. Then the American trainer sits the stooge down and tells him, (3:33) «Daesh are very good [meaning effective]. Why? There is a link between their message and their activity. If there is a message, there is always activity accompanying the message. And if there’s activity, there’s a message accompanying [it]».
The video then cuts to a later moment when the trainer says, «You are able to cooperate with the international coalition. … We are the international coalition partners in Syria». The stooge says: «That’s perfect. You are a partner». The trainer continues: «You will be received positively by the public in the international community. These aren’t just normal relations. You are a partner».
At 4:10, the trainer asks the NSA jihadist, «So, the first question: Who are the New Syrian Army?» The stooge repeats what he had been told to say (and in this ISIS propaganda-film, that portion is cut out; so, we don’t know what the NSA stooge was taught to say). The CIA agent says, «Excellent». (That response indicates the stooge had said what the CIA wants Westerners to hear from the NSA: namely, that the NSA’s main enemy is ISIS — which group Westerners loathe.)
Then, there is an operation shown with «Lieutenant Colonel Muhannad al-Talla». The Century Foundation explains that:
"Sarhan and Lt. Col. Muhannad al-Talla’, former head of the rebel Military Council in Deir al-Zour, commanded the NSA [New Syrian Army]. Rebels from Deir al-Zour manned the NSA, and Albukamal residents from Sarhan’s Allahu Akbar Brigades (Kataib Allahu Akbar) formed the group’s core… The NSA was formed under the aegis of the Authenticity and Development Front (Jabhat al-Asalah wal-Tanmiyyah), a coalition of rebel factions that could lend some revolutionary legitimacy to what might otherwise seem like a creation of the Pentagon. Sarhan’s Allahu Akbar Brigades had previously been part of the Authenticity and Development Front. The Authenticity and Development Front had a long track record of fighting the Assad regime across the country».
So: the CIA was training these jihadists to be fighting ISIS in order to have an excuse for being there actually to overthrow and replace Assad — «lend some revolutionary legitimacy to what might otherwise seem like a creation of the Pentagon».
The site «Vice News» headlined on 30 November 2015, «Syria’s Newest Rebel Army Has Its Sights Set on the Islamic State», and Vice promoted the CIA’s cause, by reporting that in the battle against ISIS, help was on the way "thanks to a new force of eastern Syrian rebels [New Syrian Army] with a singular focus [it certainly wasn’t ‘singular’] on the Islamic State and, local sources [which ‘local forces’?] say, quiet backing from the United States. … ‘The fundamental target is the regime [Vice’s own specific source is now being directly quoted here by Vice as contradicting Vice’s own statement on the matter, about ‘a singular focus on the Islamic State’], because its fall will mean the end of all this chaos,’ Khaled al-Hammad, secretary-general and head of Jabhat al-Asalah wal-Tanmiyyah, told VICE News».
(Notice that America’s agent, the NSA’s Khaled al-Hammad, was blaming the Syrian war on Syria’s legitimate government, led by Assad, not on the various imported jihadist groups — such as al-Hammad’s own — that are armed and paid by the US and its allies to overthrow and replace it.) By contrast, Britain’s Telegraph reported, on 27 June 2016: «Khaled al-Hammad, one of the founders of the New Syrian Army — set up by the US to fight Isil [ISIS] — bemoaned its slow progress in an interview with the Telegraph last week».
So: sometimes Khaled al-Hammad and his NSA are described in the Western press as having been armed and trained by the US in order to overthrow Assad, and sometimes as having been armed and trained by the US in order to defeat ISIS. But Khaled al-Hammad himself was directly quoted by Vice as saying «The fundamental target is the regime» — though Vice said (citing unnamed ‘local forces’) — that that was’t the case.
On 27 June 2016, the New York Times headlined «C.I.A. Arms for Syrian Rebels Supplied Black Market», and reported:
The training program, which in 2013 began directly arming the rebels under the code name Timber Sycamore, is run by the C.I.A. and several Arab intelligence services and aimed at building up forces opposing President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. The United States and Saudi Arabia are the biggest contributors, with the Saudis contributing both weapons and large sums of money, and with C.I.A. paramilitary operatives taking the lead in training the rebels to use Kalashnikovs, mortars, antitank guided missiles and other weapons.
The existence of the program is classified, as are all details about its budget. American officials say that the C.I.A. has trained thousands of rebels in the past three years, and that the fighters made substantial advances on the battlefield against Syrian government forces until Russian military forces — launched last year in support of Mr. Assad — compelled them to retreat.
The remainder of the ISIS propaganda video includes scenes from their slaughter of the NSA forces: shown are some of the captured NSA jihadists, decapitated heads of some, and lots of commentary, which consists mainly of passages from the Quran, which the ISIS film-maker apparently thought described the battle that they had just won against the US proxy-forces against Russia’s proxy (Assad).
It’s not quite the context that the dead NSA jihadist would have had in mind, though the source came from (was recovered from) him. At 8:15-30, the narrator mockingly addresses the US and its allies: «Send arms and equipment to your agents and dogs. Prepare them with the most modern equipment. Send them very much, for it will end up as war booty in our hands by Allah’s permission». Vast quantities of seized weapons are shown in the video there.
Taken all together, the evidence suggests that America backs the NSA in order to defeat both Assad and a group, ISIS, that’s trying to overthrow Assad. However, until Russia, at the invitation of Syria’s legal government (headed by Assad), entered the Syrian conflict on 30 September 2015, by Russia’s bombing campaign against all of the various jihadist groups that are fighting to overthrow the Syrian government, the US bombing campaign in Syria had been destroying Syrian government infrastructure, to bring about a failed state there, not bombing ISIS, whose oil trucks were at that time (up till Russia started bombing them on 30 September 2015) freely transporting ISIS’s stolen Syrian oil, to Turkey, for sale so as to finance ISIS’s expansion.
That was when ISIS was at its peak in Syria. The US wasn’t actually fighting against ISIS in Syria; the US (via its various jihadist proxies) was fighting against Assad, until Russia entered the war (at Assad’s request — whereas the US and its allies fight in Syria as invaders, which crucial distinction the Western press never even mention). Before that bombing by Russia, America’s invasion of Syria had been trying to overthrow Assad: For example: on 2 October 2015, just three days after Russia started its bombing, the US Department of ‘Defense’ headlined «Obama: Russia Must Drop Support for Assad to End Syrian Civil War, ISIL» and quoted the US President: «The problem here is Assad».
On 2 December 2015, the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Araby Al-Jadeed bannered «Syrian activists: Destroying Assad means destroying Islamic State group». America’s allies weren’t fighting against ISIS in Syria, but against ISIS’s enemy there: Assad. Then, all of that growth and consolidation by ISIS, changed after Russia’s bombing started, and ISIS (and other jihadist groups who have been imported into Syria by the Sauds etc.) have generally been heading downhill in Syria, ever since that time. The US government is pro-jihadist; the Russian government is anti-jihadist. But ISIS is opposed by both of them — and, generally, it’s opposed even by the Arabic oil monarchies.
This video provides a rare record of America’s proxy-war against Russia, in Syria. It’s a war to end the secular Syrian government that’s allied with Russia — Russia currently being the leading supplier of oil and gas to Europe. It’s a war to replace Russian oil-and-gas sales to Europe, by Sunni-Arabic, US-allied, oil-and-gas sales to Europe. That’s what all of these people are being slaughtered over. It’s a big gangland-operation. The Syrian population are in a situation like the residents are in any city that has a lengthy gang-war that slaughters lots of innocent bystanders and not only members of the rival gangs.
In this particular instance, the invading gang are the US and its allies. The defenders are the Syrian government and its Russian ally — plus Shiite Iran, and its Shiite allies including Hezbollah in Lebanon. This is not quite yet a world war, but it’s moving toward one. What it is now, is like a gangland drug-war, in which the «drug» is fossil-fuels, and the marketing-territory is Europe, and the United States and its Arabic royal allies have been trying to take over the production (in Arabia) of the «drug,» and the marketing (by the US aristocracy) of the «drug» in that territory. This is the «drug»-war that could end up in World War III. And that’s international relations today.