[Marxism] US providing Assad regime with anti- Islamic State intelligence

Michael Karadjis mkaradjis at gmail.com
Wed Sep 17 06:58:27 MDT 2014

Introductory comments:

It is interesting that many on the left seem to take seriously the 
public denials by US leaders that they are liaising with Assad in their 
war on ISIS (merely they just happen to be bombing the same enemy at the 
same time). The simple fact is, US strategists have a brain. For them 
it's not just a 'see, told you' kind of game ('see, told you the US 
won't work with King Assad, because we love our anti-imperialist King' 
etc). The US knows, rightly, that while Assad and Iran are allies in its 
war on ISIS, a Sunni sectarian extremist organisation cannot be defeated 
only, or primarily, by the most extreme anti-Sunni sectarian and 
murderous forces in the region. That is why the US had to wait for the 
Shiite sectarian Iraqi regime to dump Maliki before moving in to support 
the semi-new government - not that it is much different, but just 
without Maliki's murderously sectarian baggage, which everyone knows 
drove the previously anti-ISIS Sunni into the hands of ISIS, with a 
seeming fresh start, the US could pretend it was a less sectarian regime 
(though it is not, in fact, but that's what they've got).

Recall that the US and Saudis were only able to defeat al-Qaida in Iraq 
(ie, what became ISIS) in 2007-8 by arming Iraqi Sunnis against al-Qaida 
(the "Sawha"). Maliki drove these Sawha Sunnis back into the hands of 
ISIS. It is strategically crucial for the US to win at least some away 
from ISIS again. A Sunni component to the anti-ISIS fight is essential 
in both Iraq and Syria; otherwise, the massively disenfranchised Sunni 
stick with ISIS. It is also necessary to not alienate the Sunni-based 
Arab regimes who are backing the anti-ISIS campaign - and must for their 
own survival, yet will be deeply conflicted and even risk overthrow if 
it is only anti-Sunni forces aligned to the US. Even Iran supported the 
US-backed change in Iraq because it could see Maliki had gone too far 
and ISIS next door was too serious for Iran to play stupid games with.

And so in Syria the deal is even bigger, because if Maliki's regime was 
murderously anti-Sunni sectarian, Assad's regime makes Maliki a choir 
boy by comparison. This is the regime that has slaughtered entire Sunni 
villages, razed entire Sunni neighbourhoods, levelled entire Sunni 
cities, drove millions upon millions of Sunni from their homes and 
country. An *open* declaration of alliance with Assad in the current war 
would be the spell of death for the anti-ISIS war - waves of Sunni would 
join ISIS, many of those in the united rebel opposition that have been 
valiantly fighting both regime and ISIS would automatically switch to 
ISIS, or at least to defending ISIS, if any hint was made of 
collaboration with the genocidal anti-Sunni regime in Damascus.

To even get its mini-Sawha by arming and training a few thousand heavily 
"vetted" Syrian rebels  - something Obama needs precisely to have some 
Sunni-based component to the war on ISIS - is going to be incredibly 
difficult, because the overwhelming bulk of the FSA view their chief 
enemy to be the regime, and secondarily ISIS, precisely because they 
understand that as long as the fascist regime exists, its ISIS mirror 
will continue to exist. Simple. For the US it is the opposite - ISIS is 
their chief enemy, as US leaders proclaim over and over, and Assad is 
only a problem in as much as his intransigence and barbarism hinders the 
campaign to defeat ISIS. The simple fact is, even if the US offered to 
arm and train more, they would get few takers among the FSA who would 
agree to fight only ISIS (and probably also be expected to fight Jabhat 
al-Nusra as demanded by Washington) and not fight the regime.

So don't get carried away by public announcements by US leaders about 
not cooperating with Assad that this means either that (a) they are in 
fact not cooperating (hah!) or (b) that this is because they see the 
Assad regime as "anti-imperialist" (US leaders have more of a clue than 
funny lefties):

US providing Assad regime with anti- Islamic State intelligence

Syrian newspaper says Washington informed Damascus of IS leaders’ 
whereabouts prior to successful attacks on Islamists.

By Jack Khoury | Sep. 15, 2014 | 5:24 PM

Western diplomatic sources admitted Monday morning that despite the 
sweeping denials and the United States’ declared opposition there is 
intelligence cooperation between Damascus and Washington. According a 
report in the Syrian newspaper Al-Watan Monday, the cooperation is 
conducted through an unnamed third party and is not direct.
The third party conducts security consultations with the Americans and 
through them receives intelligence information that is ultimately 
transmitted to the Syrians. This includes information about the 
movements of Islamic State convoys, meetings of the organization’s 
leaders, and weapons and ammunitions armories that IS fighters have 
seized in Iraq or on Syrian territory.
The report contains no specific information about the party that helps 
the Syrians and mediates with the Americans, but according to Western 
sources the assumption is that it is Iraqi intelligence, or Russian or 
German mediators, or a joint operations headquarters set up in the 
Kurdish city Erbil in Iraq.
According to the report, in recent weeks the Syrians received very 
reliable information about clandestine meetings of IS leaders and their 
movements, and the Syrian air force attacked the targets based on that 
information and reported precise hits. It was also reported that the 
Syrian army received vital information thanks to this cooperation and 
attacked quite a number of IS targets on Syrian soil, including weapons 
Sources cited by the newspaper mention an attack by the Syrian army in 
late August on IS headquarters in the village of Mohsen on the eastern 
outskirts of the city of Deir ez-Zor at a time when commanders of 
various nationalities were convening, in addition to the August 5 attack 
near the city of Raqqah, the IS capital in northeastern Syria, when 18 
of the organization’s fighters were killed, among them a U.S. citizen 
who joined IS and was wanted by the Americans.
The newspaper emphasized U.S. attempts to deny any cooperation with 
Damascus, and proposed that the Americans are concealing it due to 
commitments to the Saudis or Qataris, and because of the timing while 
the U.S. is continuing with its attempts to mobilize a broad coalition 
against IS.
According to the sources, Washington will ultimately be forced to admit 
the cooperation indirectly, due to the precise attacks by the Syrian 
army on IS sites, which are hard to find without precise intelligence 

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