[Marxism] Fwd: Exclusive: U.S. Allies Now Fighting CIA-Backed Rebels - The Daily Beast

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Feb 12 07:19:13 MST 2016

Iraqi militias who once fought ISIS with U.S. help are now working with 
Russian and Iranian forces to crush American-backed rebels in the 
strategic Syrian city of Aleppo, two defense officials have told The 
Daily Beast.

At least three Shia militias involved in successful battles against ISIS 
in Iraq—the Badr Brigade, Kata’ib Hezbollah, and the League of the 
Righteous—have acknowledged taking casualties in fighting in south and 
southeast Aleppo province. U.S. defense officials confirmed to The Daily 
Beast that they believe “at least one” unit of the Badr Brigade is 
fighting in southern Aleppo alongside other Iraqi militia groups. Those 
groups are backed by Russian airpower and Iranian troops—and all of whom 
are bolstering President Bashar al Assad’s Syrian Arab Army.
Reports on social media say the Iraqi militias in Syria are armed with 
U.S. tanks and small arms they procured on the Iraqi side of the border. 
Those reports could not be independently confirmed.

The presence of militias fighting on behalf of Assad—a dictator that the 
U.S. has pledged to depose—is yet another reminder of the tangled 
alliances that the United States must thread as it pursues seemingly 
contradictory policies in its battles against the self-proclaimed 
Islamic State. In Iraq, these Shia militias were battling on behalf of 
the U.S.-backed government. In Syria, they are fighting against an 
American-supported rebel coalition that includes forces armed by the CIA.

In other words: The forces the U.S. once counted on to take back Iraq’s 
cities are the same ones the Russians now are counting on to get Aleppo 
back. And those militias are fighting units of the American-backed Free 
Syrian Army—including the 16th Division, elements of Jaish al Nasr, and 
Sultan al Murad—according to Nicholas Heras, a research associate at the 
Center for a New American Security.

U.S. officials claim not to be alarmed. “On our list of problems, one 
Badr brigade in Syria is way down there,” one U.S. official explained.


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