By Iran Review
By Saeed Asadi*
Perhaps, when the ongoing crisis started in Syria and in its early stages, talking about the true nature of this crisis and criminal hands that plotted it from behind the scenes would have been construed within the framework of the “conspiracy theory.” However, later revelation of evidence about the unbridled foreign support for armed extremist groups gradually shed more light on the role of the United States, Israel and some regional states in fomenting this crisis as well as in the creation of ISIS and spread of terrorism across Syria and Iraq.
The crisis in Syria, which according to the calculation of its masterminds, that is, the United States and Israel, was supposed to led to the fall of the Syrian President Bashar Assad in less than two months, pursued a strategic goal from its outset, which was to put an end to regional resistance front; a goal which had not been achieved through Israel’s previous wars on Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. This goal was to be achieved through overthrow of the Syrian government, followed by the spread of violence and terrorism across the region and spread of instability, crisis and risk of disintegration to Iraq.
As Islamic uprisings reached their climax in the region, the emerging Takfiri ideas which had their roots in Saudi-backed Wahhabism, could be used as the best ground to promote Islamophobia in order to attack the Syrian government as one of the main elements of the regional resistance. Since a project to spread fear of the Shiite Iran among Sunni regional states had been put in gear since a long time ago, the Islamophobic regime of Israel tried to get Saudi Arabia and other regional countries in line with the project that aimed to undermine the resistance front, which was led by Iran.
The subtle goals of this project, as was brought up at the Herzliya Conference in 2014, were to shift the crisis to enemy’s territory and hide behind internal conflicts of the Islamic countries and groups. This plan aimed to pay the cost of countering Islam through the lives and properties of Muslims themselves.
Since the beginning of the crisis, the role of countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey in providing funds as well as arms and logistical support to armed opposition forces in Syria was evident. But perhaps it was difficult for some people to believe the role of the United States and Israel in the creation of the Syrian crisis and ISIS terrorist groups.
- In April 2013, the US Department of State pledged to provide armed opposition groups in Syria with “non-lethal” assistance. At the same time, other reports showed that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had taken steps to transfer “lethal” weapons into Syria through Turkey and Jordan since a year ago.
- In May 2013, US Senator John McCain entered Syria illegally through the Turkish border and met with leaders of Syrian opposition groups, pictures of which were published by mass media.
- The US-based Washington Post newspaper published a report on the dispatch of light arms, military vehicles, advanced communication equipment and medical packages by the CIA for the Syrian militants in September 2013.
- A while later, the Brookings Institution published a 30-page report in December 2013, revealing how unbridled support of some Persian Gulf states, which are US allies, for radical armed groups in Syria fanned the flames of sectarianism and even internal clashes among these groups in Syria.
- Such supportive measures became gradually more evident until the Pentagon officially announced in February 2015 that it had signed three-year agreements with Turkey and Jordan for the equipment and annual training of more than 5,000 armed opposition forces in Syria and had allocated USD 500 million to this purpose. In reality, however, such training had started since two years earlier. In 2015, the Washington Post quoted a report by the Intelligence Committee of the US House of Representatives as saying that CIA had spent one billion US dollars a year to train, equip, and transfer about 10,000 forces into Syria.
- The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported in March 2013 that in a matter of only about four months, 3,000 tons of arms belonging to the former Yugoslavia were sent to the armed militants in Syria through 75 flights via Zagreb to airports in Turkey and Jordan. This project was masterminded by the United States and funded by Saudi Arabia. According to the same report, this was just a small part of the foreign aid provided to terrorists in Syria while other shipments were also sent for them, including via Britain.
- US Vice President Joe Baiden made a speech at the Harvard University in October 2014, which was echoed far and wide and for which he was later forced to apologize. During that speech, he said, “Our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria…. The Turks were great friends, and I’ve a great relationship with [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan, … the Saudis, the Emiratis, etc. What were they doing? They were so determined to take down [Syrian President Bashar al-]Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war. What did they do?” Biden asked, according to a recording of the speech posted on the White House’s website. “They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of 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 added.
- While the United States is leading the so-called anti-ISIS coalition, a confidential document belonging to the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and dated August 12, 2012, which has been recently released by the group known as the Judicial Watch, read in its pages 290 and 291 that Western countries, the Persian Gulf states, and Turkey have been the main backers of the armed opposition in Syria. It also predicted that continuation of this process could lead to the emergence of a “Salafi emirate” in the eastern part of Syria, noting that this was exactly the same goal that countries supporting the Syrian opposition sought to achieved due to the fact that survival of the incumbent Syrian government is now beyond doubt and establishment of this emirate can further isolate this government. The report also predicted that the terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria could come together and form an “Islamic state,” and this would be a major threat to territorial integrity of Iraq.
However in addition to the United States, Israel was directly involved in providing training, consultation and medical services to Takfiri forces in the Golan Heights, Quneitra, Otaiba and other border regions between Syria and the occupied territories.
- In February 2014, a visit to the injured elements of the so-called Free Syrian Army by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, along with Israel’s minister of intelligence and chief of the army, at a field hospital in the north of Israel was covered by the media. Following that visit, the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported that about 700 Syrian militants had been treated in Israeli medical centers in Taiba, Zaif, Nahariya, Rambam Health Care Campus (in the city of Haifa), Bouria, and one of the bases of the Israeli army.
- Former CIA contractor and whistleblower, Edward Snowden, also revealed by releasing a secret document that the intelligence services of the United States, Britain and Israel had implemented a joint project called “Operation Hornets Nest” through which they created ISIS. The document also made it clear that the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had completed intensive military, ideological and oration courses under the eyes of the Israeli spy agency, Mossad, for an entire year.
- According to a report by Lebanon’s al-Akhbar newspaper, information obtained by hacking computers of some leaders of ISIS in Iraq and Syria and by gaining access to computers of Israel’s security services through ISIS computers, show that Israel, through financial support of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, has been managing several armed Takfiri terrorist operation rooms with various goals in Turkey, Jordan and even Europe and the United States.
- Former Iraqi prime minister, Ayad Allawi, in his recent unofficial visit to Lebanon, has informed some political figures in that country of Saudi Arabia’s plan to counter the resistance axis from Syria to Lebanon in order to prevent Iran from making the most of its nuclear deal with world powers.
Now, almost four months have passed since the beginning of Saudi Arabia’s onslaught against the oppressed people of Yemen in which Riyadh has used all kinds of nonconventional weapons including cluster, phosphorus, napalm, and chemical bombs as well as extra-heavy bombs. Apart from expert analysis, there is ample evidence showing that in its war against Yemen, Saudi Arabia is taking advantage of Israel’s political, intelligence and military support.
- The remarks made by a Saudi squadron leader in this regard are noteworthy when he said, “I was just lining up for a beauty precision strike on a truck load of Houthis, or it could’ve been a wedding, it’s hard to tell from 30,000 feet, when this F-16 with a Star of David cut me off and napalmed the whole lot of them. Zionist f****r didn’t even give me the traditional ‘thumbs up’ afterwards. And no he cannot be ‘my wingman any time.’”
- Finding Israeli weapons at the Saudi embassy in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, as well as finding remains of Israeli weapons in areas attacked in Yemen, admission to the role of Israel in Saudi Arabia’s air raids against Yemen by the Israeli Daily website, and an extended report by the Global Research on the role of Israeli fighter jets in Saudi Arabia’s aggression against Yemen, are just a few examples of the instances in which Israelis have been directly involved in the war against the oppressed people of Yemen.
In fact, through multifaceted relations with the United States and Israel and playing their game, the aforesaid regional countries first provided unbridled support for terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq, which have marred the image of Islam through unimaginable violent measures that they are taking in the name of religion in these two countries. In the second stage, they are currently fomenting unrest and wreaking havoc in the world of Islam through massacre of the oppressed, Muslim and Arab nation of Yemen whose main motto is hostility against Israel, thus getting attuned to the United States’ and Israel’s plans in the region.
Perhaps, punishment of ISIS and other terrorist groups involved in this project is not possible through an international tribunal as they lack any international legal identity, and they should be punished in the battlefield, but, in view of well-documented cases some of which were explained above, their creators and supporters can be tired for war crimes. More importantly, however, is their punishment in the court of history, which will be certainly more devastating for them.
Middle East Analyst