Major Media Admit Presence of Foreign Militants in Syria

Stephen Lendman

Syria's conflict isn't an uprising, revolution or civil war. It's lawless Western aggression. It targets an independent government and its people. Doing so violates fundamental international law. Washington planned it years ago. It wants puppet leaders installed. It's Afghanistan/Iraq/Libya 2.0. America destroys nations to control and plunder them. War on humanity is waged for unchallenged global dominance. Syria is ground zero. Other targeted states come later. Proxy death squads are used. They're heavily armed, trained and directed. They reign terror on Syrian civilians. They've murdered thousands of noncombatant men, women and children. At issue is ravaging and intimidating Syria to submission. Foreign militants show no mercy. Their presence has been well known all along. Media scoundrels now admit it. At the same time, their framing deceives more than explains.

On July 29, The New York Times headlined "As Syrian War Drags On, Jihadists Take Bigger Role," saying:

"....Syrians involved in the armed struggle say it is becoming more radicalized: homegrown Muslim jihadists, as well as small groups of fighters from Al Qaeda, are taking a more prominent role and demanding a say in running the resistance."

Fact check

Militants are largely imported, not homegrown. Many are Al Qaeda affiliated. They're brought in from regional countries. Most Syrian regime opponents deplore violence. They want reforms, not war. The Times said more recently

"larger, more organized and better armed Syrian militant(s push) an agenda based on jihad." [At the same time, it claimed] "no significant presence of foreign combatants of any stripe in Syria...." It cited an unnamed "activist" saying around 1,000 of 50,000 fighters involved are foreigners. It added that many of them aren't "jihadists."

It tiptoed toward admitting that what Assad said all long is true. It suggested that "Salafist groups" and other Islamic radicals "now receive most foreign financing." It stopped short of explaining that Syria was lawlessly invaded. It's waging defensive liberating battles. International law legitimizes them. No nation would stand aside and let foreign invaders ravage and control their country.

On July 26, Time magazine headlined "TIME Exclusive: Meet the Islamist Militants Fighting Alongside Syria's Rebels," saying:

Al Qaeda's flag is prominently displayed. "At this stage, they remain a minor player in the conflict. (T)heir role may grow exponentially."

In May, Time asked "Is al-Qaeda Intervening in the Conflict?" saying:

"It's hardly a revelation (to imagine) criminal and extremist elements looking to profit from the disintegration of order. a petri dish for radicals."

US strategy depends on violence and instability. Peace and calm defeat Washington's agenda. Time magazine, The New York Times, and other media scoundrels suppress information readers most need to know. Instead they're fed managed news misinformation garbage.

Other major media also admitted the presence of foreign militants in Syria. They include AFP, Der Spiegel, London Telegraph, UK Sunday Times, South Africa's News 24, and various lesser known publications. BBC says they're involved but play a minor role. BBC runs cover for imperial Britain. It has to. It's state operated, funded and controlled. It produces propaganda. Real news, information and analysis are verboten. Qatar's Al Jazeera operates the same way. They and other media scoundrels mock legitimate journalism.

On July 30, Voice of Russia (VOR) headlined "Jihadists with 'British accents' fighting Syria's Assad," saying:

"Dutch journalist Jeroen Oerlemans and UK photographer John Cantlie were attacked by anti-Assad troops when crossing the Syrian border from Turkey last week."

Their captors weren't Syrians. They came from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Chechnya, and elsewhere. Many of them spoke English. Some did "with recognizable" British accents.

Russia Today reported the same story. It said what happened shows that "Syria has become a magnet for radical Islamists, who are there either as mercenaries or because of ideology."

Hard core extremists among them want regional countries transformed into Islamic caliphates. Syria is the region's only independent secular state. Its people alone should decide how they'll be governed. Free, fair and open elections are now held. Independent candidates and parties opposing Assad participate.

In contrast, despots run regional monarchies like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, other Gulf states, Jordan, and Morocco. Washington extends support. They're valued imperial allies.

So is Israel. Like America, its democracy mocks the real thing. Both countries deplore it. They don't tolerate it at home or abroad. They wage wars to prevent it. They want unchallenged hegemonic control. They're involved in Syria's conflict. Aleppo currently is ground zero. On July 29, SANA state media headlined "Armed Forces Clear Neighborhoods in Aleppo and Damascus Countryside from Terrorist Groups," saying:

[Syrian forces] "cleared Saladin neighborhood in Aleppo city from armed terrorist group." "An official source told SANA that the armed forces inflicted very heavy losses on the terrorists, some of them non-Syrians of Arab and foreign nationalities, adding that fleeing terrorists are being pursued and that their hideouts are being raided, with the terrorists being arrested or eliminated."

Insurgents take refugee in civilian neighborhoods. They use human shields for protection. Doing so slows efforts to eliminate them. Nonetheless, they're being routed. Order is being restored to Damascus. Pockets of resistance continue. Expect Aleppo to be liberated. Syrian forces are prevailing. They're cleansing terrorist held areas.

US officials express frustration. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta equates defeating them with Assad losing "all legitimacy."

Saying so makes him look more buffoon-like than in charge of US imperial wars. An unidentified Syrian military officer told Reuters late Sunday that (i)n a few days safety and security will return to....Aleppo."

Saladin and Hamdaniya neighborhoods were freed. Security forces routed terrorists trying to enter Syria from Turkey.

Reuters quoted Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moualem saying

"(t)oday I tell you, Syria is stronger....In less than a week (terrorists) were defeated" in Damascus. "So they moved on to Aleppo, and I assure you their plots will fail."

Voltaire Network's Thierry Meyssan asked "Who is fighting in Syria?"

"Armed groups modeled on the Contras are used. They don't "defend democracy, they fight against it." "The FSA (Free Syrian Army) program is to end the secular regime installed by the Baath, the SSNP (Syrian Social Nationalist Party) and the Communist Party in favor of a pure religious Sunni regime."

Washington's rhetorical support for "democratic transition" is sham cover for long-planned imperial control. Foreign mercenaries are used. They're involved for love, money, ideology, or a combination of two or more. They're "thugs and habitual criminals." They're "lured by easy money." They're paid "seven times the average wage." Other fighters "fought in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya," Iraq and Libya.

They're more mercenary than jihadist. They include Al Qaeda affiliated elements. Many are based in Turkey. They're fighting "under the label of Free Syrian Army." They're NATO "auxiliaries." They're headquartered on its Incirlik, Turkey base. "Hard core Islamists formed their own organizations or joined Al Qaeda." Qatar or Saudi Arabia control them. They're de facto CIA assets.

In Nicaragua, Contras were CIA-connected. Syrian militants have a similar relationship.

"In May 2012, Miami Cuban Contras organized counter-revolutionary guerrilla war training seminars for their Syrian counterparts."

Tactics used earlier are employed now. They include targeting Assad loyalists, murdering civilians, economic sabotage,

"derailing passenger trains, car bombs at popular sites, and killing religious, political and military leaders."

The great majority of Syrians oppose them. The longer conflict persists, the greater Assad's support grows. People need state security forces for protection. Without them they're defenseless. Syria's army is a conscript people's force. They're not used for political repression. Assad also authorized neighborhood militias. They're armed for self-defense. Syria's military supervises them.

Washington's war on Syria isn't about liberation, instituting democracy, and concern for human rights. It's to establish another regional puppet regime. It's for imperial dominance. It's willing to destroy nations and slaughter their people to control them. Then on to more targets. Washington threatens humanity. Stopping its carnage matters most.

Stephen Lendman: I was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. Raised in a modest middle class family, attended public schools, received a BA from Harvard University in 1956 and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of PA in 1960 following 2 years of obligatory military service in the US Army. Spent the next 6 years as a marketing research analyst for several large US corporations before becoming part of a new small family business in 1967, remaining there until retiring at the end of 1999. Have since devoted my time and efforts to the progressive causes and organizations I support, all involved in working for a more humane and just world for all people everywhere, but especially for the most needy, disadvantaged and oppressed. My efforts since summer 2005 have included writing on a broad range of vital topics ranging from war and peace; social, economic and political equity for all; and justice for all the oppressed peoples of the world like the long-suffering people of Haiti and the Palestinians. Also co-hosting The Global Research News Hour, occasional public talks, and frequent appearances on radio and at times television. I also am a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. I live in Chicago and can be reached at Also visit my blog site and listen to The Lendman News Hour on Monday - Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening. My new book "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War" can be ordered HERE.



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