Opinion

Syrian rebels accept help from US,  pledge loyalty to al-Qaida

The White House announced that it will supply direct military aid to Syrian rebel forces, notwithstanding the fact that at least one group within those forces swore allegiance to al-Qaida a mere two months ago.

syria-jabhat-al-nusra
Syrian Jabhat al Nusra forces
Abou Mohamad al-Joulani, speaking for the Syrian Jabhat al Nusra, which has joined in the fight to topple the Bashar al-Assad government, promised to support Osama bin Laden’s replacement as al-Qaida leader, according to USA Today.

According to one informed source, the group’s relationship with al-Qaida has been going on for some time.

“They [al-Qaida] provided them [al Nustra] early on with technical, military and financial support , especially when it came to setting up networks of foreign jihadis who were brought into Syria,” Lebanese Sheik Omar Bakri said. “There will certainly be greater coordination between the two groups.”

The Obama administration pledged to support only those groups not associated to terror organizations. But its hard to fathom how that promise could be kept given that the Free Syrian Army welcomes the inclusion of al Nustra into its fold.

“The rebels in Syria have one common enemy — Bashar Assad — and they will collaborate with any faction allowing them to topple his regime,” said Tamer Mouhieddine, SFA spokesman.

Some of the rebel forces most significant gains have been made by al Nustra and similar terror-affiliated organizations. The U.S. recognized al Nusrea as a terrorist group in December.

The Economist published a graph on May 17 indicating that of the 9 key rebel groups fighting in Syria, 7 are Islamists with varying degrees of extremism.

The U.S. recognized al Nusrea as a terrorist organization in December.

Nonetheless, President Obama went ahead with his plans to militarily support the Syrian rebels. This came after he received irrefutable evidence that Assad government forces had used chemical weapons, in the form of sarin gas, upon opposition forces.

Ben Rhodes, U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor, announced that the U.S. will provide additional aid to the rebel forces, “that will include military support,” according to the BBC.

Recent Congressional testimony as well as presidential press conferences have illustrated one point — no one in Washington has a clue as to what’s going on in their own back yard. They only seem to know what they read in the paper.

Given that sad state of affairs, I can’t imagine how we can expect them to keep track of something happening halfway around the globe.

And I have some support in this. Former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski tweeted Friday at noon that “I don’t see any strategic sense in yesterday’s WH announcement on Syria. This is a mess in the making.”

NSA tweet

Yeah, I know. he was in the Carter administration, which was not much better than the current one. But when he calls Syria “a mess in the making,” he has somme experience. Remember that administration’s own Middle Eastern mess? — Iran?

To recap, we’re providing aid to Syrian rebels that will undoubtedly find their way to al-Qaida affiliated groups. That aid is in the form of guns and money. Can Washington lawyers be far behind?

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