by Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio for VT Mediterranean
«SANA-Media sources revealed on Friday that intelligence apparatus affiliated to western states, which pretend that they fight Daesh, held many meetings and agreements with leaders of the terrorist organization to carry out terrorist attacks in Syria».
This is the sensational revelation reported by Baraa Ali / Mazen Eyon on the Syrian Arab News Agency in reference to the alleged summit held on Friday 13 February. We are only writing about it now after having ascertained (through overseas intelligence sources) that in recent days there has actually been a movement of American generals in the Al Tanf base, a US military outpost in the Homs governorate in Syria, located 24 km west of the al-Tanf border crossing in the Syrian desert, along the border between Iraq and Jordan and Syria.
But the senior officers would also have gone to the infamous Camp Al Hol, one of the most dangerous and IDP (Internally displaced people) for refugees where multiple families of ISIS terrorists are being held, many of them freed by jihadists with the support of the Turkish army in October 2019 when President Recep Tayyb Erdogan decided to invade Rojava (the north-east area of Syria ruled by the Kurds of the Autonomous Administration) with the military mission hypocritically called Peace Spring, despite having nothing of peaceful.
Not only. An OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) dossier reveals that Al Hol is the new fulcrum of radicalization of Islamist extremists of Sunni-Salafist matrix, enemies of the Shiite-Alawite Muslims who govern Damascus through Bashar Al Assad’s Ba’th party.
This confirms the alarms launched by the Rojava Information Center (RIC) for the intensification of the ISIS sleeper cell attacks which occurred especially in December and January, in the run-up to the inauguration of the new US President Joseph Biden, who has already announced the blocking of the return troops from the Middle East (Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria) already materialized under the military profile with the construction of a new base in the governorate of Hasaka, not far from Turkey and Iraq, and with the dispatch of vehicles and armaments to the Deir area Ezzor where the Pentagon (US Department of Defense) controls the precious oil wells.
The last two attacks took place just today, Saturday 20 February, as we are writing this article. Local sources told the SANA reporter that a motorcycle bomb exploded on Saturday in a popular market in the city of al-Busayrah, in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, causing the martyrdom of three civilians and the wounding of ten others, some of them in critical conditions. Twelve civilians were injured in a car bomb explosion in the village of Sajo near the town of Azaz in the northern Aleppo countryside, where terrorist groups are deployed, supported by the Turkish occupation forces.
The NATO headquarters in Brussels has already moved in support of Washington with the announcement by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg of the increase from 500 to 4,000 troops in Iraq decided by the summit of the Defense Ministers of the Atlantic Alliance, held by videoconferenc , which was also attended by former General Lloyd J. Austin III, the new Secretary of the Pentagon, already at the helm of the Central Command of the United States, in 2012 where he modeled and started to implement a US military strategy to repel the militants of the state Islamic in Iraq and Syria. But he is also known for his advice to the world’s second largest armaments corporation, the American Raytheon, after his discharge from the army four years ago.
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This is happening while Turkey, NATO’s second army, is hiding behind the shameless hypocrisy of issuing joint statements with Russia and Iran (Astana summit) on the fight against Islamic terrorism while enlisting former ISIS and Al Qaeda commanders among the factions of jihadist mercenaries. used in Syria and Libya, with the political approval of the Atlantic Alliance itself and the embarrassed silence of the Kremlin.
MEETING BETWEEN US-UK INTELLIGENCE AND ISIS LEADERS
The shady intrigue among intelligence, military and jihadists seems destined to rekindle suspicions about a “terror strategy” already implemented in Syria by the US Obama-Biden administration, in fulfillment of a regime-change plan designed by the Central Intelligence Agency since 1983 against Assad’s father (as revealed by a declassified document published by Gospa News), aimed at the dual purpose of raiding oil resources and creating tensions in the Middle East to increase the lucrative business of the Weapons Lobby.
A not too hidden direction of the Arab Springs started against Damascus in 2006 already by George W. Bush jr (supporter of the Democratic candidate Biden in the last presidential elections although Republican) and confirmed by the Turkish SETA dossier on the 21 jihadist factions, some accused of being terrorist, to which CIA and Pentagon supplied the deadly TOW anti-tank missiles during the Obama presidency.
To this were added the intelligence sources and investigative journalists who considered Abu Bakr Al Baghadi, the caliph of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS or DAESH in Arabic) an agent of the CIA itself (and of counterintelligence Israeli Mossad), about whose assassination, which took place during a military action ordered by former President Donald Trump, Russia has expressed very strong doubts thanks to well-founded arguments.
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Al Baghdadi laid the foundations for the birth of ISIS during his imprisonment for terrorism in Camp Bucca, the former Iraqi prison run by US forces near Umm Qasr, where he was deemed “reliable” to help the US military maintain the order among the prisoners before being mysteriously released and famous for the start of the jihad announced during a sermon in the mosque in Mosul in June 2014.
This premise makes credible the revelation made by the Syrian Arab National Agency, always precise and cautious in spreading news to avoid exploitation precisely because it was financed by the government of Damascus, last February 13.
«“According to confidential information, several meetings for representatives of the intelligence apparatus of US, France and Britain and a number of regional states were held since the beginning of the current year in al-Tanf region, occupied by the US, in the southeast side of Syria, with participation of field leaders of Daesh and other terrorist groups, as they discussed intensifying the attacks against forces of the Syrian government and Russian military bases in Syria,” Sputnik news agency quoted a special source as saying» Baraa Ali and Mazen Eyon wrote on SANA.
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The source, described by Sputnik as well-informed, added that in light of agreements reached between Daesh leaders and the other terrorist organizations, from one side, and with intelligence apparatus of those states “worship places were included in the list of targets, and these states will provide the terrorist organizations with the financial support, equipment, ammunitions and the modern weapons” as reported by the Syrian agency.
This accusation has a marginal basis in two legal cases, initiated in London and in the USA, for the loans received by the jihadists of Al Nusra, Syrian branch of Al Qaeda, through banks of Qatar, an ally of Turkey, by virtue of the common political-religious leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, but also of the United Kingdom and Italy in the arms business and of the USA thanks also to the Al Udeid Air Base (south-east of the capital Doha) where the Qatar Air Force, United States Air Force and the British Royal Air Force.
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Although over the years there has been strong rivalry between Al Qaeda, believed to be founded and financed by Saudi Arabia, and ISIS, precisely the MIT intelligence of Ankara would have created a “bridge” between the two terrorist organizations by bringing together many former commanders in other jihadist factions.
THE ATTACKS OF ISIS CELLS
«The source added that Daesh terrorists, who are transported from Iraq and released from the prisons and arrest camps in areas controlled by US-backed QSD militia, undergo special trainings, under the supervision of US, adding that those sleeper cells of terrorists will be used to launch attacks in south and southwest Syria in addition to major cities in the country» concluded SANA.
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A similar alarm had already been repeatedly raised by the Rojava Information Center (RIC) of the Kurds of North East Syria, among the best documented in the whole country thanks to the widespread network of connections with the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) which in the spring 2019 stormed Baghouz, an ISIS stronghold in the governorate of Dei Ezzor.
«January 2021 had 31 separate attacks by sleeper cells, causing 27 deaths. This continues the downward trajectory since the RIC began publishing monthly statistics, but this month saw a high of 20 confirmed killings in Al Hol camp, indicating the deteriorating stability within the camp. ISIS claimed all but 5 attacks in North and East Syria this month» wrote RIC in report on February, 7.
SDF anti-terrorism special forces YAT carried out 13 raids and made 27 arrests last month: including the high-profile one of the “Emir of the assassins” in Heseke’s country, which included the interception of high-value information.
«While the month of January was a rather average month in terms of numbers, the type of attacks in NES showed ISIS is willing to continue to target those affiliated with the AANES and the kidnapping and execution of two women members of the Shedaddi civil council in the Heseke countryside show that women are becoming an increasingly viable target for ISIS. A mayor and a judge were also targeted through home invasions in the Deir Ez Zor region» commented RIC staff researcher Charles Flynn.
«The increase in Al Hol camp murders comes in the same month in which the AANES has continued to lobby for an international response to the humanitarian crisis there, as well as the UN decrying the Al Hol situation, with it representing one of the most pressing dangers to humanity. Although many nations are beginning to repatriate some of their civilians and children affiliated with ISIS, recently Canada, a large majority of the population is native to Syria and Iraq. Iraq continues to drag its feet, unwilling to return its citizens to their home country. The 20 murders in Al Hol, with ten beheadings, comes as yet another dire warning to the AANES and the international community that new solutions are needed to counter the spreading radicalism and crisis that Al Hol represents» adds Rojava Information Center.
The attitude of Baghdad which had to deal with a very serious attack by two suicide bombers on January 21, the day after the settlement of Biden, immediately claimed by ISIS, is partly understandable. The attack caused 35 deaths and 100 injuries after plunging back into a nightmare that seemed forgotten since the last suicide bombing was in June 2019.
In recent days, according to what reported by Middle East Monitor, Iraqi security forces have captured 16 members of the Daesh terrorist group during simultaneous operations in separate places in Kirkuk and Mosul. Although it has been three years since Daesh was eliminated from the region, its attacks in rural areas of Kirkuk, Mosul, Saladin and Anbar still continue.
SHOCKING DOSSIER ON AL HOL
But the situation is certainly not as serious as that of the largest Syrian IDP, reported by an OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) dossier published in August in the Terrorism Research Initiative with a very eloquent title: “ISIS Resurgence in Al Hawl Camp and Human Smuggling Enterprises in Syria”.
It was written by Christian Vianna de Azevedo, special agent of the Brazilian Federal Police for 19 years and now an academic researcher in various universities in Latin America, for JSTOR, a non-profit service intended for researchers and students to discover, use and develop a wide range of content in a reliable digital archive.
«Al Hawl camp remains the largest Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Northeastern Syria. The campholds people who fled ISIS as well as individuals and families connected to ISIS (members and supporters) who were displaced from its former territory. It currently holds around 68,000 people, 94% of whom are women and children. ISIS and its predecessor, Al Qaeda in Iraq, have benefited from prison contexts which were fundamental for both groups to grow. Prisons have proven to be breeding grounds for Jihadist indoctrination and networking» reads in dossier.
«Al Hawl has been part of ISIS’s strategy through crime and terror networks that have developed within the camp. ISIS residents in Al Hawl camp conduct terrorist indoctrination, radicalization, human smuggling, document fraud, forgery and financing. These criminal activities have aided ISIS in having the upper hand inside the camp while preparing its militants for a future role in case the caliphate is restored. In the meantime, since its territorial defeat two years ago, ISIS has benefited from the human smuggling networks that operate in Syria since 2011. Smuggling its fighters, facilitators and families out of the conflict zone has been an important strategy for ISIS future ambitions».
These few sentences, takeb from the study of about 20 pages, would be enough to describe the disturbing scenario of the Syrian IDP but with great insight the former special agent develops an illuminating comparison with the place of detention where Al Baghdadi sowed the poisonous shoots of its terrorist jihad.
«Furthermore, ISIS propaganda has always insisted that the women play a key role in educating and indoctrinating the children. Nowadays there is something new to ISIS’s structure: women have been taking some leadership roles since they have been in charge of some fronts that in the recent past were almost exclusively run by men. The current grip of ISIS within Al Hawl camp’s residents has been enabled by several criminal enterprises that have helped the radicalized residents to foster ISIS’s ideology inside the facility as well as mimic its former caliphate structure. This has become viable through a stream of funding, smuggling of all sorts and criminal activities» explains Christian Vianna de Azevedo.
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«Accordingly, what has been unfolding in for about a year and a half is not unique and new to ISIS or to the jihadist prison scene. We can draw an interesting parallel between Al Hawl Camp and a prison for jihadists in Iraq which more than a decade ago was dubbed the “Jihadist University” and become well known for its role as a breeding ground for the predecessor of ISIS» we further read in the dossier.
«Since its inception, Camp Bucca became overwhelmed by large quantities of detainees following the crisis in the Abu Ghraib prison in 2003. Additionally, after the scandals at Abu Ghraib, the rules regarding prisoners’ routine in Bucca had become laxer. Therefore, Camp Bucca had a grim start and soon after a lot of problems began to surface. Detainee assault on US guards became routine. Detainee-on-detainee violence between detainees also soared, and riots became commonplace. In this context, detainees were divided among sectarian lines to ease the tension within the prison (around 85% of the detainees were Sunni Arabs)».
«Additionally, extremists were mixed with moderates within each compound. Soon, the inmates were enforcing Sharia Law and disputes were being settled according to these laws and harsh Sharia courts became routine within the prison system. Islamist extremists would maim and kill fellow inmates for behavior they considered un-Islamic. This situation led to a growing fanaticism since there was an enormous collective pressure on the detainees to become more radical in their beliefs. To make matters worse, there was very little communication between US guards and the US camp administration on the one hand and the detainees on the other. Consequently, most inmates did not know why they were there or when they would be released. This fact aggravated the already-delicate situation within the camp and drove many moderate Sunnis into the hands of radical Islamists».
In this fertile ground, as already mentioned and documented in an extensive report a few months ago, the “model” prisoner Al Baghdadi managed to build the future jihadists of the Black Flag terrorist militias. Thanks to the freedom of action obtained by the American officers who commanded.
«The frequently successful attacks carried out by ISIS have shown it has stepped up its operations in the past few months. These territories are valuable for its insurgency, as they contain important gas fields as well as the highway M20 that connects Deir Al Zour to Homs and Damascus. Equally important, the desert itself provides the insurgents with a perfect spot to hide in and operate. Besides, ISIS has been taking advantage of the COVID-19 outbreak in Syria and the consequent quarantines and curfews imposed by the regime to contain the virus» notes the expert of the Brazilian Federal Police.
«The total population interned in the camps and prisons in Northeastern Syria surpasses 100,000 people. From these, about 92,000, mostly women and children, have been held in IDP camps. Another approximately 10,000 ISIS male fighters are detained in prisons. There are no good data on how deeply these detainees and IDP camp residents have been ideologically indoctrinated by ISIS. However, radicalization efforts by ISIS have been stronger for about a year. The prisons and camps can potentially provide the insurgency with fighters, facilitators, supporters and a future generation (the children) for their state-building project. If the ISIS insurgency eventually gains the upper hand in the desert and in the small settlements in East Syria in the near future, the women and children housed in Al Hawl, once freed, will most likely become a core element for achieving ISIS’s territorial objectives» told dossier.
«There is an estimate that the ISIS insurgent force comprises of between 10,000 and 14,000 fighters plus 3,000 foreign fighters in both Iraq and Syria. The ‘Syraq’ desert has been vital for ISIS’s survival strategy since it provides a number of excellent spots for fuel and water depots as well as transportation routes. It also allows ISIS to establish alliances with nomads and smugglers»,
THE SILENCE OF MOSCOW ON ANKARA HIPOCRYSY
“Fifteen attacks by Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization were registered inside Idleb province, and 10 others were registered in Lattakia, in addition to three attacks in Aleppo and four attacks in Hama,” Deputy Director of the Russian Coordination Center in Hmeimim, Admiral Vyacheslav Sytnik said in a statement.
Last Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists carried out 35 attacks in the de-escalation zone in Idleb while a day before that, the Ministry revealed that terrorist organizations which spread in Idleb are preparing to stage a new false flag chemical attack with the aim of accusing the Syrian Arab Army, as in Douma’s event.
The admiral also said that the Russian military has observed an increase in operations by the terrorist group Tahrir al-Sham (banned in Russia) near the village of Al-Fuah, northeast of Idlib. There have also been sightings of members of the White Helmets organization having filming equipment.
The news was reported by both Sputnik and the SANA agency. But the Damascus agency also gave a lot of space to the intervention of the head of the delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic at the 15th International Meeting on Syria within the Astana Format, held in recent days in Sochi, Russia.
Ayman Sousan has underlined the necessity of the Turkish regime’s abidance by the agreements signed with the Russian side for eliminating the terrorist organizations and ending the abnormal situation in the de-escalation zone in Idleb.
In a press conference at the conclusion of the international meeting, said: “The Turkish regime protects the terrorist organizations in a blatant violation of all the international laws and conventions, and cutting off water to Hasaka city by this regime for more than 18 times and sometimes for more than a month amounts to the level of war crimes.”
Head of Russian delegation to 15th International Meeting within Astana format, Alexander Lavrentiev, stressed the necessity for combating all terrorist organizations in Syria, including “Tahrir al-Sham” until eliminating terrorism completely.
“We should focus on fighting all the terrorist organizations, not only Daesh, Jabhat al-Nusra or so-called Tahrir al-Sham to which some countries try to re-formulate it and depicting it as moderate opposition,” Lavrentiev said in a press conference.
At the end of the Sochi meeting, an unequivocal document was signed by Russia, Iran and Turkey in 17 points in which the signatories reiterated «their determination to combat terrorism in all forms and manifestations and stand against separatist agendas aimed at undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria as well as threatening the national security of neighboring countries. Condemned the increasing terrorist activities in various parts of Syria which result in loss of innocent lives. Expressed serious concern with the increased presence and terrorist activity of “Hayat Tahrir al‑Sham” and other affiliated terrorist groups as designated by the UN Security Council that pose threat to civilians inside and outside the Idlib de-escalation area».
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An absolutely hypocritical statement, in light of the continuous support guaranteed by Ankara both to the HTS hired as mercenaries also in Libya and to the former ISIS leaders used for serious violations of human rights in Afrin, supported by Moscow for its interest in maintaining an alliance with the country of President Erdogan (also with the sale of the Russian-made S-400 missile system) and thus have a destabilizing partnership in NATO in the face of the continuous intimidation actions of the Atlantic Alliance in the context of a renewed and anachronistic cold war with the Kremlin .
NEW AMERICAN BASES IN SYRIA FOR OIL
In this scorching climate, the Syrian population is once again paying for it while after the settlement of the Biden administration the US army is strengthening its bases in Rojava and Iraq as evidenced by various reports of movements of military vehicles and construction of a new station as reported by Middle East Monitor and SANA. (read more)…