(ANTIMEDIA) — Confirming what many commentators in alternative media circles have been saying for some time now, a new report has found that ISIS was able to successfully arm itself by taking advantage of U.S. weapons transfers between Washington and its allies in Syria.
The report, conducted by the U.K.-based Conflict Armament Research (CAR) group, analyzed 40,000 items its investigators recovered along ISIS’ front lines between July 2014 and November 2017. The weapons they found included guns, ammunition, and components to make explosive devices. CAR also conducted 83 site visits in Iraq to collect weapons data.
According to the report, by purchasing “large numbers” of European arms and ammunition and then distributing them to groups within Syria without notifying the sellers of the arms, the U.S. “violated the terms of sale and export agreed between weapons exporters.”
The report stated:
“The United States and Saudi Arabia supplied most of this materiel [sic] without authorization, apparently to Syrian opposition forces. This diverted materiel, recovered from IS forces, comprises exclusively Warsaw Pact–caliber weapons and ammunition, purchased by the United States and Saudi Arabia from European Union (EU) member states in Eastern Europe.”
The report also explained:
“Supplies of materiel into the Syrian conflict from foreign parties—notably the United States and Saudi Arabia—have indirectly allowed IS to obtain substantial quantities of anti-armor ammunition.”
In one detailed case, CAR reported that it traced an anti-tank guided weapon that was manufactured in the E.U. and sold to Washington before it was supplied to a party in the Syrian battle arena. The weapon ended up in ISIS’ hands a mere two months after the weapon left its manufacturer.
“International weapon supplies to factions in the Syrian conflict have significantly augmented the quantity and quality of weapons available to IS forces — in numbers far beyond those that would have been available to the group through battlefield capture alone,” the report said.
The 200-page investigation also noted that more than a third of the weapons ISIS used came from European states, including Germany. According to the report, more than half of the weapons ISIS had were produced by Russia and China, as well.
The report also indicated that the majority of ISIS’ weaponry was looted from the Iraqi and Syrian armies. However, the report makes it clear that a sizeable share of the terror group’s weapons came about as a direct result of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia arming Syrian opposition forces, after which the weapons were transferred into ISIS’ hands.
“These findings are a stark reminder of the contradictions inherent in supplying weapons into armed conflicts in which multiple competing and overlapping non-state armed groups operate,” the report wrote.
If the U.S. authorities claim this damning fact was an unintended consequence of aiding “legitimate” and “moderate” forces in Syria or that they had no knowledge of this activity, that is by all accounts a cold, hard lie. CAR explains that the parties involved in these arms transfers deliberately attempted to conceal the weapons’ sources by changing the packaging, removing markings, or painting over them.
“If it’s written on it that it comes from this country, 99 percent chance it is true,” a CAR researcher told Wired. “And if it’s not, you can figure out that it is counterfeit, and that means something else. Everything means something.”
Further, as far back as October 2012, the New York Times reported:
“[M]ost of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster…”
The Times noted that Barack Obama and other senior officials were aware of this fact. Yet, over the course of the conflict, Obama merely accelerated these programs, all while they were benefiting the most hard-line jihadists fighting in Syria. This was the case even after the U.S. spent ludicrous amounts of money to arm and train a handful of Syrian rebels, many of whom ended up defecting and handing the weaponry to al-Qaeda fighters in Syria.
Even if the weapons were going to jihadists that didn’t operate under ISIS banner, the distinctions between the various terror groups in Syria are all but negligible. In December 2015, the Tony Blair Foundation released a report that showed the majority of Syrian rebels shared ISIS’ core belief system, and at the very least, nearly 100,000 fighters have the same ideological objectives as ISIS. The U.S. continued to support the Syrian opposition knowing full well the ideological identities of these so-called freedom fighters.
As a side note, ISIS essentially subscribes to Saudi Arabia’s strict Wahhabist philosophy, making the terror group more or less a proxy force for the Saudi kingdom.
Further, even pro-Syrian intervention newspapers like the Guardian acknowledged that the U.S. knew full well an ISIS-style caliphate was on the rise in Syria but still continued to fan the flames of the conflict in the hope that it would weaken the Syrian government:
“A revealing light on how we got here has now been shone by a recently declassified secret US intelligence report, written in August 2012, which uncannily predicts – and effectively welcomes – the prospect of a ‘Salafist principality’ in eastern Syria and an al-Qaida-controlled Islamic state in Syria and Iraq. In stark contrast to western claims at the time, the Defense Intelligence Agency document identifies al-Qaida in Iraq (which became Isis) and fellow Salafists as the ‘major forces driving the insurgency in Syria’ – and states that ‘western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey’ were supporting the opposition’s efforts to take control of eastern Syria.”
Youtube commentator Stormcloudsgathering also noted some years ago that if the Free Syrian Army (FSA), backed by Washington and its allies, was overrun with extremists and openly acknowledged its support for the al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra front —which also maintained strong links with ISIS at various points throughout the conflict — it didn’t take a genius to see how U.S.-supplied weaponry would eventually end up in ISIS’ hands as a direct result of this chain of alliances.
Isn’t providing “material support” for al-Qaeda a crime under United States law? This isn’t just another story for the media to report on and for the rest of us to sit back and think, “What a scandal.” Some very serious crimes have been taking place under both the Obama and Trump administrations, and now we have the formal proof. So when will justice be carried out?
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