bigearth wrote:The US official quoted by AFP said: "Look when you've got an opportunity, an important one, you take it.
"That's what the American people would expect, particularly when it comes to foreign fighters going into Iraq, threatening our forces."
Raqqa’s dirty secret
13 November 2017 By Quentin Sommerville and Riam Dalati
The BBC has uncovered details of a secret deal that let hundreds of IS fighters and their families escape from Raqqa, under the gaze of the US and British-led coalition and Kurdish-led forces who control the city.
A convoy included some of IS’s most notorious members and – despite reassurances – dozens of foreign fighters. Some of those have spread out across Syria, even making it as far as Turkey.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt ... rty_secret
Video Emerges Of US Allowing ISIS Fighters To Escape Safely In Syria
Jun 14, 2017
Authored by Darius Shahtamasebi via TheAntiMedia.org
With numerous distractions unfolding on the newly released reality TV show that is “Keeping Up with the Trump Administration,” it may surprise readers to learn that the U.S. is using the terror group ISIS as a pawn in its depraved foreign policy.
Video footage obtained by Al-Masdar appears to show convoys of ISIS fighters fleeing the Syrian city of Raqqa untouched by the U.S. military, which is currently bombing that exact location. As Al-Masdar notes, despite having Kurdish and American drones hovering around the city of Raqqa, U.S. bombs are nowhere to be seen as hundreds of fighters pass safely. The release of this footage comes on the heels of accusations from both Russia and Iran that the U.S. is colluding with ISIS to allow the group’s safe passage into areas controlled by the Syrian government.
Iran claims to have direct proof but thus far has not released it. Even if Russia and Iran don’t have any secret documents that directly expose this collusion, the fact remains that we don’t necessarily need them.
After all, this is exactly how ISIS grew exponentially in Syria in the first instance – as a direct result of U.S. foreign policy strategy. In 2012, a classified Defense Intelligence Agency report predicted the rise of ISIS, something actively encouraged by the U.S. establishment. The report stated:
“If the situation unravels, there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria… and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.”
Further, leaked audio of former Secretary of State John Kerry shows he knew ISIS was gaining momentum in Syria, and that in turn, the U.S. hoped this would bring Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to the negotiating table.
In recent times, the safe passage of ISIS fighters to areas under the control of the Syrian government has been an unspoken but official strategy and has been the reality on the ground in Iraq and Syria.
Late last year, Anti-Media reported on an anonymous military-diplomatic official’s claims that the United States was allowing safe passage to Syria for ISIS fighters exiting Mosul, Iraq – even though the U.S. was supposedly waging an offensive to defeat ISIS in the area. As we noted, acknowledging the admittedly undesirable, questionable nature of the anonymous source:
“An anonymous source claiming to a Russian newspaper something as conspiratorial as the U.S. directly aiding ISIS militants may seem a bit dubious, but since the offensive was launched on Monday of this week, this has been the reality on the ground.
“According to Army Lieutenant General Talib Shaghati, as reported by anti-Russian newspaper, the Guardian, ISIS militants are already fleeing Mosul to Syria. This was further confirmed by the Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, who said that if ISIS were forced out of Mosul, they would likely go on to Syria.”
Not long after, ISIS launched an offensive into a very strategic area in Syria called Deir ez-Zor, battling through Syrian government defenses. The most horrifying part of this offensive was the fact that, asnoted by the Guardian, the ISIS fighters who successfully broke through government defense lines in Syria were “primarily reinforcements coming over the border from Iraq’s Anbar province.”
Deir ez-Zor is not outside the U.S. military’s strike range capacity. This is the same city that was attacked by the American-led coalition in September of last year – an attack that targeted Syrian troops for over an hour, paving the way for a timely ISIS offensive. Yet when it comes to hundreds of reinforcements raging through the Iraqi border into Syria, the U.S. military is on a brief vacation.
We were told Raqqa was to be ISIS’ last stronghold in Syria, but this is clearly not true. In order for the U.S. to ultimately put pressure on the Syrian government, the real prize is not Raqqa but a combination of two very strategic locations that are very heavily interlinked.
As explained by Gulf News:
“There, a complex confrontation is unfolding, with far more geopolitical import and risk. Daesh [ISIS] is expected to make its last stand not in Raqqa but in an area that encompasses the borders with Iraq and Jordan and much of Syria’s modest oil reserves, making it important in stabilising Syria and influencing its neighbouring countries.
“Whoever lays claim to the sparsely populated area in this 21st-century version of the Great Game not only will take credit for seizing what is likely to be Daesh’s last patch of a territorial caliphate in Syria, but also will play an important role in determining Syria’s future and the post-war dynamics of the region.”
And this is ultimately the problem for the U.S.-led coalition of anti-Assad (and anti-Iranian) nations. The behind-closed-doors official rationale for targeting Syria’s government for regime change was to undermine Iranian influence in the region, according to Hillary Clinton’s email archive. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and the other Gulf States have long feared that a fully dominated Shia-led bloc of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon could completely overthrow the regional balance of power. They have opposed such a development at all costs.
As Gulf News explains, the Iranians are in the process of fully implementing this Shia bridge, known as the “Shia Crescent”:
“The contested area also includes desert regions farther south with several border crossings, among them the critical highway connecting Damascus and Baghdad — coveted by Iran as a land route to Lebanon and its ally, the Hezbollah militia.”
This is why the U.S. military has set up a training base at the Aal-Tanf border crossing. If the Syrian government were to retake the area and open it up under its control, they would be able to directly link Iran to Syria and the rest of its allies, including Iraq and Lebanon.
This is also why the U.S. military has been engaging in illegal acts of aggression against Iranian-backed militias operating in the area — to defend this position.
Further, the Syrian government’s outpost in Deir ez-Zor is isolated, hence why these two offensives are running in tandem. They both rely on the liberation of the other to have any real value to the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian allies.
As fascinating as the Comey testimony spectacle has been (don’t forget to tune in for tomorrow’s scandal of anonymous leaks and misspelled tweets), the real scandal lies in the fact that the U.S. is nowopenly siding with ISIS while allowing the terrorists safe passage into parts of Syria so that these extremists can battle a secular government. The U.S. is moments away from an all-out confrontation with Iran (and Russia, a nuclear power).
Don’t expect the corporate media to report on these damning facts anytime soon, as the public continues to sleepwalk into a global powder keg of deceit, death, and destruction.
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-1 ... fely-syria
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