According to the Russian news agency Sputnik, the American bi-monthly international affairs magazine The National Interest has published an article calling for the Obama administration to support radical jihadists in the war against Bashar al-Assad.
The analysis authored by former US military intelligence officer Thomas Buonomo states so-called moderate rebels in Syria have been “effectively compelled to enter into a devil’s bargain with the radical Islamists in order to have any chance of accomplishing their overriding goal” of overthrowing the “irredeemable dictator Bashar al-Assad.”
Buonomo states that mercenaries who have not joined the jihadists “are by now either dead, have withdrawn from the battlefield, or are hoping they will not be killed as a result of the indecisive geopolitical calculations of their American patrons.”
“Taking these risks [Russian intervention] into consideration, the Obama administration should increase its military aid to the moderate rebel factions in order to pressure Putin to jettison Assad,” Buonomo writes.
The former al-Qaeda affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, is widely perceived as the most effective fighting force in Syria. It is now aligned with the Islamic State, which is an offshoot of al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Earlier this year the Council on Foreign Relations called for supporting al-Qaeda under the guise of defeating the Islamic State.
“The instability in the Middle East following the Arab revolutions and the meteoric rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) require that Washington rethink its policy toward al Qaeda, particularly its targeting of Zawahiri,” Barak Mendelsohn wrote for Foreign Affairs. “Destabilizing al Qaeda at this time may in fact work against U.S. efforts to defeat ISIS.”
Over the weekend the State Department announced it will step up support of jihadi groups fighting to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
“They pledged to continue and intensify support to the moderate Syrian opposition while the political track is being pursued,” the State Department statement said.
There are virtually no “moderate” proxy forces in Syria and the war against al-Assad is waged almost entirely by radical Sunni Salafist groups determined to establish a principality ruled by Shari’a law in Syria.
The U.S. and the Gulf Emirates have covertly transferred arms to al-Nusra and ISIS through the Syrian Revolutionary Front (SRF) with the help of the CIA and Saudi and Qatari intelligence.
Jamal Maarouf, the leader of the SRF, told The Independent 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 al-Nusra.
Earlier this year The New York Times reported the U.S. has given al-Qaeda millions of dollars, citing “poor oversight and loose financial controls.”