Press TV has interviewed Veterans Today Editor Kevin Barrett, an author and Middle East expert in Madison, to discuss the gains made by Syrian government forces against the Daesh Takfiri group in the Arab country’s northern Raqqah province.
A rough transcription of the interview appears below.
Press TV: How important is taking the Tabqa airbase from Daesh as the Syrian army closes in on Raqqah itself?
Barrett: Well it is very important. This airbase has both symbolic and especially strategic significance, and it is a major milestone in the march on the capital of Daesh. But it is interesting here that we are now seeing the US and its proxies suddenly getting interested in actually joining the war on Daesh as it appears that the Syrian government is about to take Raqqah.
The United States said that it would take ten years to liberate Raqqah. It never bombed Raqqah over all this time.
And now that the Syrian government is having successes, suddenly they are interested and so they have kind of created a new proxy group, the Syrian democratic forces – this motley crew of Kurds, extremists, it is not all that different really from Daesh in certain respects. And then they are going to be coming in from the west as the Syrian army arrives from the east, and it has got a lot of potential for chaos.
So I hope that the Syrian government will succeed in establishing its sovereignty over its own territory without too many complications. But we have seen so much foreign meddling that it is hard to have confidence in that happening.
Press TV: What can the international community do to put more pressure on countries and/or entities that are supporting Daesh with funding, manpower, weapons, and/or refuge?
Barrett: Well the international community is often sort of a euphemism for the United Nations and various NGOs and so on.
And the problem is that these entities are controlled by the big power players in the world – the US, NATO, etc – and they do not have any interest in actually stopping Daesh. They probably actually created Daesh. It was in fact the US-backed forces that originally took Raqqah and then handed it over to Daesh.
So we have a sort of a propaganda war on Daesh in the West where Daesh is blamed for every false flag atrocity such as the recent one in Orlando, and the Western populations are whipped up into a hysterical hatred of Islam by being told that Daesh is an extreme version of Islam and so you must all hate the Muslims and we are … in a war with Daesh so we are going to have to go and step up our programs in Syria.
But what they are not telling the people of the West is that this is actually the US government and NATO that helped create Daesh, that have kept it going, that have purposely tried to make sure that it succeeds and does not actually get beaten. And now they are panicking because the Syrian army is about to deal Daesh a huge defeat, and that would also be a defeat for the West. And of course this should be raising eyebrows among people asking themselves ‘what is the real Western policy in Syria all about?’.
Press TV: Why does it seem that as more and more these terrorists are killed in Syria, that the Takfiri groups are easily replenished with new members? Where are all these people coming from and why is their journey into Syria seem to be taking place so easily?
Barrett: Well it is all about money.
All of the Toyota Land Cruisers and the equipment, heavy armaments that Daesh has been receiving did not just materialize. As Sheikh Imran Hosein says it did not come from Santa Claus. There is a lot of money that is going into creating and sustaining Daesh and the question is ‘what is the source of that money?’ It seems that it is the Western deep state that is primarily responsible. And much of this has come through Turkey.
We know that for instance Raqqah fell to Daesh because the US actually helped its proxy forces, including al-Nusra Front which is al-Qaeda but apparently that is friends with the US now – not sure how that works considering the official story of 9/11, but that is the case – and then in came Daesh and took over Raqqah and made it their capital.
So as far as trying to stop replenishment of the forces of Daesh and these other Takfiri terrorist groups, the international community needs to recognize that it is indeed the West that runs the international community that is responsible for this, and it is not just the fault of the Turkish government. The Turks are simply responding to the lay of the land and pressure from the West and its deep state.
So what we really need is a decision on the part of the West that it is time to put Daesh to bed. And I hope that decision is made sooner rather than later.
Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist is one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror.
He also has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS, and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications.
Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin; where he ran for Congress in 2008. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, author, and talk radio host.