SURPRISE!: “Moderate” Rebels Armed by Obama Join al-Qaeda, ISIS
More of the Obama administration’s supposed “moderate” jihadist rebels this month defected to al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch known as Jabhat al-Nusra, which was also reportedly working with the self-styled “Islamic State.” Obama’s “moderate” rebels, armed and trained by U.S. taxpayers under the guise of fighting less-moderate ISIS jihadists (whom Vice President Joe Biden admitted were actually armed and funded by Obama’s “anti-ISIS” coalition), reportedly took their heavy American weapons with them. Eventually, those U.S.-supplied weapons are likely to be used against Western interests and citizens, analysts said.
According to multiple news reports, large contingents among two of the important rebel armies of Obama’s “thoroughly vetted moderates” that were receiving U.S. weapons and support have joined al-Qaeda. The groups, Harakat Hazm and the Syrian Revolutionary Front (SRF), both affiliated with the oftentimes savage “Free Syrian Army,” were reportedly using weapons provided by the Obama administration and its Arab-dictator “allies” to wage war on Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad. Both “moderate rebel” outfits, which have been widely praised by the establishment and its mouthpieces, received heavy military weapons including, among others, Grad rockets and Tow anti-tank missiles.
Now, those same weapons are in the hands of al-Qaeda and ISIS, both of which the U.S. government has declared to be terrorist groups. The situation is so dire that even the establishment press has been forced to acknowledge it. “The loss of a group that had been held up as an example of Western efforts to court moderate rebel factions is a humiliating blow for Washington,” reported theTelegraph, adding that many of Obama’s “moderate” rebels surrendered to al-Qaeda “without firing a shot,” and many openly defected to the Islamic terrorist organization. Even before the latest round of mass defections, many Western-backed rebels had joined the terror groups. The “moderate” rebels have also been signing deals and sharing weapons with ISIS and al-Qaeda while condemning attacks on the terror groups for weakening the campaign against Assad.
Fighters under the Obama-backed SRF commander Jamal Maarouf, part of the nebulous Western establishment-created “Free Syrian Army,” have apparently been joining al-Qaeda in droves. “Dozens of his fighters defected and joined Nusra, that is why the group won,” Rami Abdulrahman with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights was quoted as saying by Reuters. Nusra fighters also confirmed the defections of U.S.-equipped fighters to al-Qaeda. According to sources on the ground cited in media reports, Nusra obtained tanks and other heavy weapons as large numbers of SRF fighters swore allegiance to al-Qaeda. Other media reports suggest as many as 600 Western-backed Hazm fighters also defected to al-Qaeda amid recent skirmishes in northern Syria, taking their U.S. weapons with them as well.
A report by McClatchy, meanwhile, suggested that the jihadist problem in Syria — fomented largely by the Western establishment and its operatives in the Middle East — may be even more serious than previously believed. In early 2013, al-Qaeda and ISIS, itself reportedly formed as a splinter group from al-Qaeda in Iraq, were widely said to have “split” over various differences in doctrine and tactics. According to the McClatchy report and growing amounts of evidence, however, the two groups, using tanks and mortars, worked together while overrunning the Obama-backed SRF’s positions and in attacking Assad.
“If Islamic State fighters in fact joined Nusra in the attack, it will have major repercussions for the war in Syria,” McClatchy reported, citing sources on the ground and among rebel commanders. “The rise of Nusra, and its apparent collaboration with the Islamic State, casts a harsh light on the U.S. approach to Syria.” Citing rebel commanders, the news agency also reported that Obama’s unconstitutional bombing campaign across Syria “has driven Syrian fighters to join Nusra.” Separately, McClatchy reported that Turkey’s Islamist president was upset with the Obama administration for helping local rulers tied to the Marxist terrorist group known as the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, maintain control of the city of Kobani.
Of course, none of the latest news showing the ongoing U.S. foreign policy disaster unfolding in Syria should be surprising. The New American and the broader alternative media have been reporting on the trends for years. More recently, Vice President Joe Biden even admitted what has long been common knowledge among credible analysts and scholars: ISIS and other jihadist forces butchering their way across the region are largely a product of Obama’s supposed “anti-ISIS” coalition. From showering brutal jihadists with weapons under the guise of helping “moderates” to trying to achieve “regime change” using terror proxy armies, Obama and the globalist establishment have created a gruesome nightmare across Syria.
“The fact is, the ability to identify a moderate middle in Syria, um, was, uh — there was no moderate middle,” Biden admitted during a recent speech at Harvard, contradicting Obama while acknowledging that history was likely to record the real facts. “What my constant cry was, that our biggest problem was our allies — our allies in the region were our largest problem.” Specifically identifying the Islamist rulers of Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, along with unspecified others such as Qatar, Biden noted that “they were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war.”
So, with that in mind, “what did they do?” the vice president asked about Obama’s “allies” before providing a partial answer. “They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands 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 coming from other parts of the world.” He did not mention the role of the CIA and the State Department in the process, of course, but that has been well documented by countless sources. Indeed, the Obama administration reportedly even trained actual ISIS fighters at a secret camp in Jordan.
“Now you think I’m exaggerating — take a look,” Biden continued in his speech, which sparked an immediate outcry among Obama’s Islamist allies against Assad. “Where did all of this go? So now what’s happening? All of a sudden everybody’s awakened because this outfit called ISIL, which was Al Qaeda in Iraq, which when they were essentially thrown out of Iraq, found open space in territory in eastern Syria, work with Al Nusra who we declared a terrorist group early on, and we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them.”
Just last week, meanwhile, another FSA operative, “Mahmoud,” was quoted in media reports admitting that he now works with ISIS and Nusra to funnel fighters to the terror groups. “Many of my friends are doing the same now,” he told the U.K. Telegraph, adding that Obama should have sent even more weapons to rebels to stop them from joining ISIS and Nusra. “ISIL is the only solution for us.... The most important thing now though is to remove the regime and ISIL are the strongest group. I will do whatever it takes.”
It appears that if and when the globalist establishment and its jihadist rebels succeed in ousting Assad, Syria will, like Libya before it, descend into deeper civil war as radical Islamists work to finish exterminating Christians and other minorities. All of those military weapons and supplies being showered on “moderate” rebels, meanwhile, will almost certainly come back to haunt the very same U.S. taxpayers who were forced to pay for them in the first place. With even Democrats pointing out that Obama lacks any authority to be waging another war in the region, it is time for Congress to slam on the brakes.
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter@ALEXNEWMAN_JOU. He can be reached at