The Obama Administration’s policy of supporting Salafist opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad saw the United States unwittingly support the creation of the Daesh ‘caliphate’ in Syria.
A 2012 defense intelligence report, originally stamped SECRET exposes that the US-backed anti-Assad coalition at the time was spearheaded by al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) that soon after cobbled together to form the Daesh terror network.
The report exposes that while the United States refused to directly aide and support AQI and ISI pursuant to restrictions imposed by domestic anti-terror laws, State Department and Pentagon officials were well aware that the so-called ‘moderate’ rebels were intertwined with the terrorist militants who were the vanguard of the fighting force. Somewhat fantastically, the United States finds itself in a similar predicament in its anti-Assad proxy war vis-à-vis another former al-Qaeda affiliate, al-Nusra Front.
“AQI, through the spokesman of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), Abu Muhammad al-Adnani… is calling on the Sunnis in Iraq, especially the tribes in the border regions (between Iraq and Syria), to wage war against the Syrian regime,” said the report.
It continued: “Opposition forces are trying to control the eastern areas (Hasaka and Der Zor) adjacent to the Western Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar), in addition to neighboring Turkish borders. Western countries, the Gulf States and Turkey are supporting these efforts.”
“There is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria (Hasak and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want,” in what can only conceivably be construed as a call for the formation of a Daesh “caliphate” in Syria.
In December 2012, only months after the defense intelligence report, President Obama caved to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the more hawkish wing of the national security establishment saying the United States considered the opposition to be “the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.”
Again, the opposition that the Obama administration deemed to be the “legitimate representative of the Syrian people” was led by the precursors to the Daesh terror network, AQI and ISI, with Washington employing a policy of feigned ignorance agreeing to provide arms, aid, and support to other factions of the opposition knowing that these groups would potentially function as a conduit.
Indications are that the Obama administration failed to appropriately apprehend the danger posed by the Daesh terror network with the President calling the group al-Qaeda’s “JV Team” and with his own former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn’s assessment predicting in intricate detail the rise and reach of the jihadist group going largely ignored.
The US policy of utilizing jihadist extremists in proxy wars carries with it a haunting track record dating back to the CIA support, during the Reagan administration, of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan that spawned off the now deceased terror mastermind Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda terror network.