U.S. officials confirmed on Monday the Obama administration has air dropped 112 pallets of ammunition to jihadist fighters in Syria.
C-17s, accompanied by fighter escort aircraft, dropped small arms ammunition and other items like hand grenades in Hasakah province in northern Syria to a coalition of rebels groups vetted by the US, known as the Syrian Arab Coalition.
The Syrian Arab Coalition consists of Jaysh al-Thuwar, Euphrates Volcano, Al Sanadid Forces, Brigade Groups of al Jazira and other groups said to be associated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
In July Jaysh al-Thuwar denied it had a relationship with Jamal Maarouf, the military chief of the Syria Revolutionaries Front and leader of the Syrian Martyrs’ Brigade, both part of the FSA.
Maarouf told The Independent last year the fight against al-Qaeda was “not our problem” and admitted the mercenaries he leads with U.S., Saudi and Qatari help conduct joint operations with Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda spin-off that has joined forces with the Islamic State.
Maarouf also admitted passing weapons on to al-Nusra. He said if “the people who support us (U.S., Saudis, Qataris) tell us to send weapons to another group, we send them. They asked us a month ago to send weapons to Yabroud so we sent a lot of weapons there. When they asked us to do this, we do it.”
Euphrates Volcano is at best a junior partner aligned with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units. Al Sanadid Forces of the Shammar tribe are also associated with the Kurds.
Ample Evidence FSA Cooperating with ISIS and al-Nusra
In September, 2014 a commander with the FSA admitted cooperating with ISIS and the al-Nusra Front.
“We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front by attacking the Syrian Army’s gatherings in … Qalamoun,” Bassel Idriss said. “Let’s face it: The Nusra Front is the biggest power present right now in Qalamoun and we as FSA would collaborate on any mission they launch as long as it coincides with our values.”
In July of 2014 a report in Stars and Stripes documented how the 1,000 strong Dawud Brigade, which had previously fought alongside the FSA against al-Assad, had defected in its entirety to join ISIS.
The same month factions within the FSA — including Ahl Al Athar and Ibin al-Qa’im — pledged services to the Islamic State.
Members of the Islamic State claim to cooperate with the FSA and buy weapons provided by the U.S.
“We are buying weapons from the FSA. We bought 200 anti-aircraft missiles and Koncourse anti tank weapons,” ISIS member Abu Atheer told al-Jazeera. “We have good relations with our brothers in the FSA. For us, the infidels are those who cooperate with the West to fight Islam.”
In addition, in late 2013, a leader from the FSA’s Supreme Military Council announced he had defected to ISIS.
“The Free Syrian Army and the Syrian National Council, the vaunted bulwarks of the moderate opposition, only really exist in hotel lobbies and the minds of Western diplomats,” writes Ben Reynolds.
Earlier this month Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, told Rossiya 1 TV “I don’t think anybody has yet explained what moderate opposition is, and Putin demonstrated quite active interest in the issue and asked in which way the moderate opposition was different from the immoderate opposition.”
Last October Vice President Joe Biden alluded to the truth about the so-called moderates fighting in Syria.
Biden said U.S. “allies in the region” are “our largest problem in Syria.”
What were they doing? They were so determined to take down Assad, and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad – except that the people who were being supplied… were al-Nusra, and al-Qaeda, and the extremist elements of jihadis who were coming from other parts of the world.
Biden’s remark was portrayed in the West as another of his infamous gaffes.