In eight bloody wars of the 21st century, all prosecuted by Washington in a bid to create a US-dominated ‘New Middle East’, those most committed to resistance are prevailing. Iran dealt with a well-coordinated campaign to cripple its nuclear energy program, and has since defended itself from renewed US economic aggression and proxy terrorism. Hezbollah famously defeated the 2006 Israeli invasion of south Lebanon and holds the apartheid state at bay. And over many years brave Syria defended itself from a massive proxy war and, with its allies, prevailed. In the following, I provide some pieces of evidence of US direct involvement in supporting ISIS terrorist group during Syrian War. This hypocritical face of the US should be recorded in the history.
The ineffective, or at best selective, US ‘war’ against ISIS/DAESH tended to corroborate the many Iraqi and Syrian observations that there is a controlling relationship, in coordination with its regional allies, the Saudis, Qatar, Israel and Turkey. Washington has attempted to play a ‘double game’ in Syria and Iraq, using its old doctrine of ‘plausible deniability’ to maintain the fiction of a ‘war on terrorism’ for as long as is possible.
On 17 September 2016 a carefully planned US-led air raid on Jabal al Tharda (Mount Tharda), overlooking Deir Ezzor airport, slaughtered over 100 Syrian soldiers and delivered control of the mountain to DAESH. After that surprise attack, the terrorist group held the mountain for almost a year, but did not manage to take the airport or the entire city. US-led forces admitted responsibility for the attack but claimed it was a ‘mistake’. Yet uncontested facts, eye witness accounts and critical circumstances show that this attack was no mistake, but a well-planned and effective intervention on behalf of DAESH.
Mistakes do happen in war, but this was no isolated mistake. The US-led attack on this strategic anti-DAESH base, protecting the Deir Ezzor airport, was a premeditated slaughter of Syrian forces which allowed ISIS to advance its plan to take the entire city. As it happened, Syrian Army defenses meant that they did not do that. This much is plain, from uncontested facts.
Surveillance of the Syrian army base was carried out for days in advance and the operation lasted over one hour. The US military gave false information to its Russian counterparts about the attack, left their ‘hotline’ unattended and hid evidence (of flags) which showed they knew that Syrian forces held the mountain. Having destroyed Syrian forces on that base, they did not return to attack ISIS on the mountain. Their cover story was weak and, while it served to block investigation by the tame western media, it does not hold up to any serious scrutiny.
US and Australian denials over their responsibility for the massacre at Jabal al Tharda are not credible, on any close examination. Yet they did serve their immediate purpose. Most of the western corporate and state media was stopped in its tracks by the simple claim of a massacre by ‘mistake’. Nevertheless the crime was ‘entirely consistent with the long standing American aim of regime change in Syria … [with] the Australian Government provided a willing chorus to the regime change demands of the Americans’. North American, British and Australian arms sales to the chief ISIS sponsors, the Saudis, could proceed without interruption or scrutiny. The cold war doctrine of ‘plausible deniability’ helped deflect ‘potentially hostile’ investigations.
As the Syrian Army liberated eastern Syria, over 2016-2017, the US military tried to slow its advance by a series of covert and overt actions. The massacre of soldiers at Jabal al Tharda was one of five direct US attacks on Syrian forces, since 2015. After the massacre, reports of US forces providing logistic and intel support to ISIS, aiding regroupings and evacuations came from all along the Euphrates, as Syrian forces took back Deir Ezzor.
In September 2017 Press TV reported that US forces had evacuated 22 DAESH commanders from Deir Ezzor. This writer was in the city for 4 days in late October, as it was being liberated. On 26 August a US air force helicopter was reported as taking two DAESH commanders ‘of European origin’ with family members. On 28 August another 20 DAESH field commanders were reported as taken by US helicopters, from areas close to Deir Ezzor city.
Then in November Muhammad Awad Hussein told Russian media he had seen US helicopters evacuate more DAESH fighters, after an airstrike outside al Mayadeen, a city south of Deir Ezzor. The anti-Syrian Government, British-based ‘Syrian Observatory for Human Rights’ confirmed that US helicopters were transferring DAESH fighters out of eastern Syria. Four DAESH members, including three Egyptians and a civilian, were taken from a house in Beqres, a suburb of Deir Ezzor which had been used as an arms depot. The evidence was repetitive and consistent, indicating systematic US support for DAESH forces.
In late 2017 the Russian Defense Ministry announced it had evidence that ‘the US-led coalition provides support for the terrorist group Islamic State’. The US military had twice rejected Russian proposals to bomb identified ISIS convoys retreating from al Bukamal, saying that they enjoyed the protection of international law. That shielding of the terrorist group and its heavy weapons allowed them to regroup and carry out new attacks. At the same time the US supported deals by the Kurdish-led SDF militia to allow ISIS fighters and their families to leave Raqqa for other parts of the region. Some of them joined the SDF.
In October 2017 a senior Syrian General in Deir Ezzor confirmed to me that there had been helicopter evacuations from three points on the east bank of the Euphrates: south Deir Ezzor, east al Mayadeen and al Muhassan. He also spoke of US satellite intelligence being passed to ISIS. From this catalogue of US coordination and collaboration I asked him: ‘you must feel that you are fighting a US command?’ ‘100%’ he responded.