In fact, terrorist groups al-Qaeda and al-Nusra get the weapons paid for by U.S. taxpayers
April 28, 2014
The Washington Post reports Harakat Hazm, the Movement of Steadfastness, has received the first batch of TOW anti-tank missiles promised by the United States in the ongoing effort to topple the Syrian government.
FSA, aka al-Nusra and al-Qaeda, mercenaries chant “Allah Hu Akbar” after firing BM 71 TOW anti-tank weapon.
According to the Post, the recently formed mercenary group was “chosen to receive the weapons because of their moderate views and, just as important, their discipline. At the group’s base, sprawled across rocky, forested wilderness in the northern province of Idlib, soldiers wear uniforms, get medical checkups and sleep in bunk beds under matching blankets.”
Harakat Hazm is reportedly linked to Salim Idris, the former Chief of Staff of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the point man for “game-changing weapons” in the effort by the United States, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to topple the Syrian government. Idris reportedly sought refuge in Qatar after he was removed from his position as Chief-of-Staff of the FSA’s Supreme Military Council.
On April 8 The National reported the group, a brigade within the Free Syrian Army, had released a video showing its mercenaries using a BGM-71 TOW.
The sophisticated anti-tank weapon is also in the hands of the Syrian Revolutionary Front (SRF) led by Jamal Maarouf. As reported on April 3, Maarouf created the “moderate” SRF with the help of the CIA and Saudi and Qatari intelligence.
According to The Telegraph, mercenary groups “best equipped to take on the extremists” were given millions of dollars to go up against al-Qaeda’s Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS), which was said to have “hijacked” the foreign effort to overthrow the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Maarouf 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 Jabhat al-Nusra, seen as the de facto al-Qaeda branch in Syria. Maarouf told the newspaper he does not have a problem working with al-Qaeda so long as the objective is the ouster of the al-Assad government.
He said if “the people who support us [U.S., Saudis, Qataris] tell us to send weapons to another group, we send them.”
In December, Al-Monitor reported the FSA is an ineffectual and marginalized fighting force in Syria. “The FSA is practically over, at least in the sense of its previous form and constituent protocol. What is happening today is nothing more than recycling the function of the army, as a prelude to a new phase, whose features are still unclear.”
As veteran journalist Patrick Cockburn noted late last year, the “FSA, along with the Syrian National Coalition, groups that the United States and Britain have been pretending for years are at the heart of Syrian military and political opposition, has been discredited.” Its mercenaries “are in flight, have changed sides, or are devoting all their efforts to surviving the onslaught from jihadi or al-Qa’ida-linked brigades.”
Since 2012, al-Qaeda “has become one of the uprising’s most effective fighting forces,” according to The New York Times, and it, along with affiliate al-Nusra, dominate the proxy war against al-Assad.
“For Syrian opposition soldiers, the al-Qaeda fighters are welcome Arab and Muslim volunteers, mujahideen, religious brethren who call themselves Jabhat al-Nusrah li-Ahli al-Shaam (Front for the Victory of the Levantine people), among other names,” Ed Husain wrote for the National Review in August, 2012. “Not since the days of the Afghan jihad against the Soviets has global jihadism found this rare combination of native Sunni Muslim hospitality, a powerful cause, available cash, eager Arab support, Western acquiescence, and the constant arrival of young Muslims to fight under its banner to create an Islamist government.”
The Afghan jihad and mujahideen were products of the CIA and Pakistani intelligence with funding from Saudi Arabia. The same process, with minor differences, is now underway in Syria. The Washington Post, The New York Times and other paragons of establishment propaganda continue to portray the FSA as a viable proxy army when in fact it is a “moderate” facade erected to put a friendly face on groups who execute prisoners, behead Christians, and engage in suicide bombings against civilian targets.