[News] Secret Pentagon Report Reveals US "Created" ISIS As A "Tool" To Overthrow Syria's President Assad

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Nov 20 11:54:22 EST 2015


  Secret Pentagon Report Reveals US "Created" ISIS As A "Tool" To
  Overthrow Syria's President Assad

Submitted by Tyler Durden <http://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden> 
on 05/24/2015
*http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-23/secret-pentagon-report-reveals-us-created-isis-tool-overthrow-syrias-president-assad*

 From the first sudden, and quite dramatic, appearance of the fanatical 
Islamic group known as ISIS which was largely unheard of until a year 
ago, on the world's stage and which promptly replaced the worn out and 
tired al Qaeda as the world's terrorist bogeyman, we suggested that the 
"/straight to beheading YouTube clip/" purpose behind the Saudi 
Arabia-funded Islamic State 
<http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/14/america-s-allies-are-funding-isis.html>was 
a simple one: use the Jihadists as the vehicle of choice to achieve a 
political goal: depose of Syria's president Assad, who for years has 
stood in the way of a critical Qatari natural gas pipeline 
<http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-05-16/mystery-sponsor-weapons-and-money-syrian-rebels-revealed>, 
one which could dethrone Russia as Europe's dominant - and belligerent - 
source of energy, reaching an interim climax with the unsuccessful 
Mediterranean Sea military build up of 2013, which nearly resulted in 
quasi-world war.

The narrative and the plotline were so transparent, even Russia saw 
right through them. Recall from September of last year 
<http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-09-11/russia-warns-obamas-two-faced-strategy-syria-will-lead-huge-escalation-middle-east-a>:

    If the West bombs Islamic State militants in Syria without
    consulting Damascus, LiveLeak reports
    <http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=760_1410383985#Iv1gTyxwvHzlfUFs.99>
    that the anti-ISIS alliance may use the occasion to launch
    airstrikes against President Bashar Assad’s forces, according to
    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Clearly comprehending that
    *Obama's new strategy against ISIS in Syria is all about pushing the
    Qatar pipeline through* (as was the impetus behind the 2013
    intervention push)
    <http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-05-16/mystery-sponsor-weapons-and-money-syrian-rebels-revealed>,
    Russia is pushing back noting that the it is *using ISIS as a
    pretext for bombing Syrian government force*s and warning that
    "*such a development would lead to a huge escalation of conflict in
    the Middle East and North Africa*."

But it's one thing to speculate; it's something entirely different to 
have hard proof.

And while speculation was rife that just like the CIA-funded al Qaeda 
<http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/15/world/asia/cia-funds-found-their-way-into-al-qaeda-coffers.html?_r=0>had 
been used as a facade by the US to achieve its own geopolitical and 
national interests over the past two decades, so ISIS was nothing more 
than al Qaeda 2.0, there was no actual evidence of just this.

That may all have changed now when a declassified secret US government 
document obtained by the public interest law firm, Judicial Watch, shows 
that Western governments *deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other 
Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad*.

According to investigative reporter Nafeez Ahmed in Medium, the "leaked 
document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, 
the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize 
Assad, despite anticipating that doing so could lead to the emergence of 
an ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

    According to the newly declassified US document, *the Pentagon
    foresaw the likely rise of the ‘Islamic State’ as a direct
    consequence of the strategy, but described this outcome as a
    strategic opportunity to “isolate the Syrian regime.”***

And not just that: as we reported last week 
<http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-22/how-you-boost-gdp-us-sells-over-4-billion-weapons-israel-iran-and-saudi-arabia>, 
now that ISIS is running around the middle east, cutting people's heads 
of in 1080p quality and Hollywood-quality (perhaps literally) video, the 
US has a credible justification to sell billions worth of modern, 
sophisticated weapons in the region in order to "modernize" and 
"replenish" the weapons of such US allies as Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iraq.

But that the US military-industrial complex is a winner every time war 
breaks out anywhere in the world (usually with the assistance of the 
CIA) is clear to everyone by now. What wasn't clear is just how the US 
predetermined the current course of events in the middle east.

Now, thanks to the following declassified report, we have a far better 
understanding of not only how current events in the middle east came to 
be, but what America's puppermaster role leading up to it all, was.**

/From Nafeez Ahmed: *Secret Pentagon report reveals West saw ISIS as 
strategic asset Anti-ISIS coalition knowingly sponsored violent 
extremists to ‘isolate’ Assad, rollback ‘Shia expansion', *originally 
posted in Medium 
<https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/secret-pentagon-report-reveals-west-saw-isis-as-strategic-asset-b99ad7a29092>./

*Hypocrisy*

The revelations contradict the official line of Western government on 
their policies in Syria, and raise disturbing questions about secret 
Western support for violent extremists abroad, while using the 
burgeoning threat of terror to justify excessive mass surveillance and 
crackdowns on civil liberties at home.

Among the batch of documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a 
federal lawsuit, released earlier this week, is a US Defense 
Intelligence Agency (DIA) document 
<http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf> 
then classified as “secret,” dated 12th August 2012.

The DIA provides military intelligence in support of planners, 
policymakers and operations for the US Department of Defense and 
intelligence community.

So far, media reporting has focused on the evidence that the Obama 
administration knew of arms supplies from a Libyan terrorist stronghold 
to rebels in Syria.

Some outlets have reported the US intelligence community’s internal 
prediction of the rise of ISIS. *Yet none have accurately acknowledged 
the disturbing details exposing how the West knowingly fostered a 
sectarian, al-Qaeda-driven rebellion in Syria.*

Charles Shoebridge, a former British Army and Metropolitan Police 
counter-terrorism intelligence officer, said:

    “Given the political leanings of the organisation that obtained
    these documents, it’s unsurprising that the main emphasis given to
    them thus far has been an attempt to embarrass Hilary Clinton
    regarding what was known about the attack on the US consulate in
    Benghazi in 2012. However, the documents also contain far less
    publicized revelations that raise vitally important questions of the
    West’s governments and media in their support of Syria’s rebellion.”


        *The West’s Islamists*

The newly declassified DIA document 
<http://www.judicialwatch.org/document-archive/pgs-287-293-291-jw-v-dod-and-state-14-812-2/> 
from 2012 confirms that the main component of the anti-Assad rebel 
forces by this time comprised Islamist insurgents affiliated to groups 
that would lead to the emergence of ISIS. Despite this, these groups 
were to continue receiving support from Western militaries and their 
regional allies.

Noting that “*the Salafist [sic], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI 
[al-Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in 
Syria,” the document states that “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey 
support the opposition*,” *while Russia, China and Iran “support the 
[Assad] regime.”*

The 7-page DIA document states that al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the 
precursor to the ‘Islamic State in Iraq,’ (ISI) which became the 
‘Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,’ “supported the Syrian opposition from 
the beginning, both ideologically and through the media.”

The formerly secret Pentagon report notes that the “rise of the 
insurgency in Syria” has increasingly taken a “sectarian direction,” 
attracting diverse support from Sunni “religious and tribal powers” 
across the region.

In a section titled ‘The Future Assumptions of the Crisis,’ *the DIA 
report predicts that while Assad’s regime will survive, retaining 
control over Syrian territory, the crisis will continue to escalate 
“into proxy war.”*

The document also recommends the creation of “safe havens under 
international sheltering, similar to what transpired in Libya when 
Benghazi was chosen as the command centre for the temporary government.”

In Libya, anti-Gaddafi rebels, most of whom were al-Qaeda affiliated 
militias, were protected 
<http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/good-news-uk-counter-extremism-plans-could-be-used-silence-katie-hopkins-1353190385> 
by NATO ‘safe havens’ (aka ‘no fly zones’).


        *‘Supporting powers want’ ISIS entity*

In a strikingly prescient prediction, the Pentagon document explicitly 
*forecasts the probable declaration of “an Islamic State through its 
union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.”*

Nevertheless, “Western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey are 
supporting these efforts” by Syrian “opposition forces” fighting to 
“control the eastern areas (Hasaka and Der Zor), adjacent to Western 
Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar)”:

    “… there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared
    Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and
    this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want,
    in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the
    strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”

*The secret Pentagon document thus provides extraordinary confirmation 
that the US-led coalition currently fighting ISIS, had three years ago 
welcomed the emergence of an extremist “Salafist Principality” in the 
region as a way to undermine Assad*, and block off the strategic 
expansion of Iran. Crucially, Iraq is labeled as an integral part of 
this “Shia expansion.”

The establishment of such a “Salafist Principality” in eastern Syria, 
the DIA document asserts, is “exactly” what the “supporting powers to 
the [Syrian] opposition want.” Earlier on, the document repeatedly 
describes those “supporting powers” as “the West, Gulf countries, and 
Turkey.”

Further on, the document reveals that Pentagon analysts were acutely 
aware of the dire risks of this strategy, yet ploughed ahead anyway.

*The establishment of such a “Salafist Principality” in eastern Syria, 
it says, would create “the ideal atmosphere for AQI to return to its old 
pockets in Mosul and Ramadi*.” Last summer, ISIS conquered Mosul in 
Iraq, and just this month has also taken control of Ramadi.

Such a quasi-state entity will provide:

    “… a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad
    among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab
    world against what it considers one enemy. ISI could also declare an
    Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations
    in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to
    unifying Iraq and the protection of territory.”

The 2012 DIA document is an Intelligence Information Report (IIR), not a 
“finally evaluated intelligence” assessment, but its contents are vetted 
before distribution. The report was circulated throughout the US 
intelligence community, including to the State Department, Central 
Command, the Department of Homeland Security, the CIA, FBI, among other 
agencies.

In response to my questions about the strategy, *the British government 
simply denied the Pentagon report’s startling revelations of deliberate 
Western sponsorship of violent extremists in Syria. *A British Foreign 
Office spokesperson said:

    “AQ and ISIL are proscribed terrorist organisations. The UK opposes
    all forms of terrorism. AQ, ISIL, and their affiliates pose a direct
    threat to the UK’s national security. We are part of a military and
    political coalition to defeat ISIL in Iraq and Syria, and are
    working with international partners to counter the threat from AQ
    and other terrorist groups in that region. In Syria we have always
    supported those moderate opposition groups who oppose the tyranny of
    Assad and the brutality of the extremists.”

The DIA did not respond to request for comment.


        *Strategic asset for regime-change*

Security analyst Shoebridge, however, who has tracked Western support 
for Islamist terrorists in Syria since the beginning of the war, pointed 
out that the secret Pentagon intelligence report exposes fatal 
contradictions at the heart of official pronunciations:

    “Throughout the early years of the Syria crisis, the US and UK
    governments, and almost universally the West’s mainstream media,
    promoted Syria’s rebels as moderate, liberal, secular, democratic,
    and therefore deserving of the West’s support. Given that these
    documents wholly undermine this assessment, it’s significant that
    the West’s media has now, despite their immense significance, almost
    entirely ignored them.”

According to Brad Hoff, a former US Marine who served during the early 
years of the Iraq War and as a 9/11 first responder at the Marine Corps 
Headquarters in Battalion Quantico from 2000 to 2004, the just released 
Pentagon report for the first time provides stunning affirmation that:

    “US intelligence predicted the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and
    the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the
    group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a US
    strategic asset.”

Hoff, who is managing editor of /Levant Report/ 
<http://levantreport.com/2015/05/19/2012-defense-intelligence-agency-document-west-will-facilitate-rise-of-islamic-state-in-order-to-isolate-the-syrian-regime/>//— 
?an online publication run by Texas-based educators who have direct 
experience of the Middle East?—?points out that the DIA document 
“*matter-of-factly” states that the rise of such an extremist Salafist 
political entity in the region offers a “tool for regime change in Syria.”*

The DIA intelligence report shows, he said, that the rise of ISIS only 
became possible in the context of the Syrian insurgency?—?“there is no 
mention of US troop withdrawal from Iraq as a catalyst for Islamic 
State’s rise, which is the contention of innumerable politicians and 
pundits.” The report demonstrates that:

    “The establishment of a ‘Salafist Principality’ in Eastern Syria is
    ‘exactly’ what the external powers supporting the opposition want
    (identified as ‘the West, Gulf Countries, and Turkey’) in order to
    weaken the Assad government.”

The rise of a Salafist quasi-state entity that might expand into Iraq, 
and fracture that country, was therefore clearly foreseen by US 
intelligence as likely?—?but nevertheless strategically 
useful?—?blowback from the West’s commitment to “isolating Syria.”


        *Complicity*

Critics of the US-led strategy in the region have repeatedly raised 
questions about the role of coalition allies in intentionally providing 
extensive support to Islamist terrorist groups in the drive to 
destabilize the Assad regime in Syria.

The conventional wisdom is that the US government did not retain 
sufficient oversight on the funding to anti-Assad rebel groups, which 
was supposed to be monitored and vetted to ensure that only ‘moderate’ 
groups were supported.

However, the newly declassified Pentagon report proves unambiguously 
that years before ISIS launched its concerted offensive against Iraq, 
the US intelligence community was fully aware that Islamist militants 
constituted the core of Syria’s sectarian insurgency.

Despite that, the Pentagon continued to support the Islamist insurgency, 
even while anticipating the probability that doing so would establish an 
extremist Salafi stronghold in Syria and Iraq.

As Shoebridge told me, “The documents show that not only did the US 
government at the latest by August 2012 know the true extremist nature 
and likely outcome of Syria’s rebellion”?—?namely, the emergence of 
ISIS?—?“but that this was considered an advantage for US foreign policy. 
This also suggests a decision to spend years in an effort to 
deliberately mislead the West’s public, via a compliant media, into 
believing that Syria’s rebellion was overwhelmingly ‘moderate.’”

Annie Machon 
<http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/oct/24/mi6-whistleblowers-accuses-intelligence-agencies-annie-machon>, 
a former MI5 intelligence officer who blew the whistle 
<http://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/nov/15/gender.uk> in the 1990s on 
MI6 funding of al-Qaeda to assassinate Libya’s former leader Colonel 
Gaddafi, similarly said of the revelations:

    “This is no surprise to me. Within individual countries there are
    always multiple intelligence agencies with competing agendas.”

She explained that MI6’s Libya operation in 1996, which resulted in the 
deaths of innocent people, “happened at precisely the time when MI5 was 
setting up a new section to investigate al-Qaeda.”

This strategy was repeated on a grand scale in the 2011 NATO 
intervention in Libya, said Machon, where the CIA and MI6 were:

    “… supporting the very same Libyan groups, resulting in a failed
    state, mass murder, displacement and anarchy. So the idea that
    elements of the American military-security complex have enabled the
    development of ISIS after their failed attempt to get NATO to once
    again ‘intervene’ is part of an established pattern. And they remain
    indifferent to the sheer scale of human suffering that is unleashed
    as a result of such game-playing.”


        *Divide and rule*

Several US government officials have conceded that their closest allies 
in the anti-ISIS coalition were funding violent extremist Islamist 
groups that became integral to ISIS.

US Vice President Joe Biden, for instance*, admitted 
<http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/cancer-modern-capitalism-1323585268> 
last year that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Turkey had funneled 
hundreds of millions of dollars to Islamist rebels in Syria that 
metamorphosed into ISIS.*

But he did not admit what this internal Pentagon document 
demonstrates?—*?that the entire covert strategy was sanctioned and 
supervised 
<http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/cancer-modern-capitalism-1323585268> 
by the US, Britain, France, Israel and other Western powers.*

The strategy appears to fit a policy scenario identified by a recent US 
Army-commissioned RAND Corp report 
<http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/pentagon-plan-divide-and-rule-muslim-world-1690265165#sthash.N7UEf4Dc.dpuf>.

The report, published four years before the DIA document, called for the 
US “to capitalise on the Shia-Sunni conflict by taking the side of the 
conservative Sunni regimes in a decisive fashion and working with them 
against all Shiite empowerment movements in the Muslim world.”

The US would need to contain “Iranian power and influence” in the Gulf 
by “shoring up the traditional Sunni regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and 
Pakistan.” Simultaneously, the US must maintain “a strong strategic 
relationship with the Iraqi Shiite government” despite its Iran alliance.

The RAND report confirmed 
<http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2008/RAND_MG738.pdf> 
that the “divide and rule” strategy was already being deployed “to 
create divisions in the jihadist camp. Today in Iraq such a strategy is 
being used at the tactical level.”

The report observed that the US was forming “temporary alliances” with 
al-Qaeda affiliated “nationalist insurgent groups” that have fought the 
US for four years in the form of “weapons and cash.” Although these 
nationalists “have cooperated with al-Qaeda against US forces,” they are 
now being supported to exploit “the common threat that al-Qaeda now 
poses to both parties.”

The 2012 DIA document, however, further shows that while sponsoring 
purportedly former al-Qaeda insurgents in Iraq to counter al-Qaeda, 
*Western governments were simultaneously arming al-Qaeda insurgents in 
Syria.*

*The revelation from an internal US intelligence document that the very 
US-led coalition supposedly fighting ‘Islamic State’ today, knowingly 
created ISIS in the first place, raises troubling questions about recent 
government efforts to justify the expansion of state anti-terror powers.*

In the wake of the rise of ISIS, intrusive new measures to combat 
extremism including mass surveillance, the Orwellian ‘prevent duty’ and 
even plans to enable government censorship of broadcasters, are being 
pursued on both sides of the Atlantic, much of which disproportionately 
targets activists, journalists and ethnic minorities, especially Muslims.

*Yet the new Pentagon report reveals that, contrary to Western 
government claims*, *the primary cause of the threat comes from their 
own deeply misguided policies of secretly sponsoring Islamist terrorism 
for dubious geopolitical purposes.*

------------------------------------------------------------------------

/Dr //Nafeez Ahmed/ <http://www.nafeezahmed.com>/is an investigative 
journalist, bestselling author and international security scholar. A 
former Guardian writer, he writes the ‘System Shift’ column for VICE’s 
Motherboard, and is also a columnist for Middle East Eye. He is the 
winner of a 2015 Project Censored Award, known as the ‘Alternative 
Pulitzer Prize’, for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for his 
Guardian work, and was selected in the Evening Standard’s ‘Power 1,000’ 
most globally influential Londoners./

/Nafeez has also written for The Independent, Sydney Morning Herald, The 
Age, The Scotsman, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Quartz, Prospect, New 
Statesman, Le Monde diplomatique, New Internationalist, Counterpunch, 
Truthout, among others. He is the author of //A User’s Guide to the 
Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It/ 
<http://www.crisisofcivilization.com/>/(2010), and the scifi thriller 
novel //ZERO POINT/ <http://zro.pt/>/, among other books. His work on 
the root causes and covert operations linked to international terrorism 
officially contributed to the 9/11 Commission and the 7/7 Coroner’s 
Inquest./

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