Syria: Dealing with the Devil – When Spies Play Politics

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Explaining how and why Western intelligence agencies have been in contact with the Assad regime….

See

In large part, the contact is because of the West’s fear of “foreign fighters” who might return to their home countries. But is it also a marker of the willingness of some countries, like the US, to quietly accept a President Assad and his inner circle remaining in power?

“You might say this is ‘Dealing with the Devil’. But the fact is that you’re still dealing. In other words, the Devil — to some degree — is acceptable….

“When you deal with the Devil, you accept that he gets to keep running Hell.”

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Not so much a case of dealing with the Devil so much as dealing with the devil you know. The crazy barbaric beheading enamored rabble sent in courtesy of one of the most backward, reactionary and barbarian states in the world today (yes, I mean SA with Qatar a runner-up), pose a far greater threat to the west than Assad.

  2. To Andre:

    First, the regime does’t fight terrorists it has allied with ISIS in terrorizing the same people as th regime. In fact it intelligence agencies have worked closely with Al Queda since the Iraq war. The regime’s ownuse of Putin’s Chechnya strategy has been a key contributer to radicalizing the population and islamization of the rebellion which it desired for propaganda purposes.
    NOTE: The latest embarassing news on regime-Isus collusion has emerged and I’ll be posting in soon in the daily roundup here.

    Secondly, Al Queda bitterly hates the Saudi regime. They are mortal enemies. The Saudis dont support Al Queda, unlike the regime. The Saudis do subsidize and export Salafism which I think is a mistake. They did not do so before 1979 however and began doing so to counter to Iran’s regional quest for hegemony which requires Shia dominance in regional states.

    Thirdly, Russia and Iran intervened long before the Saudis. In all three hadn’t been involved in mass Sunni genocide Saudi’s woundn’t be involve now.
    Their involvement naturally increased substantially after the great anti-Sunni intervention in May. Why would it not? Action produces reaction. Even so, the Saudis were restrained by a willingness to listen to the USA. It was only after Obama’s Rose Garden Betrayal and “free pass to genocide” chemical deal the Saudis began stepping up aid closer to Russian and Iranain levels. They still have a way to go but I suspect manpads will be coming soon. Hurrah!

    Fourth, it is hypocritical to complain about the Saudis interfering on one side when Iran, Putin ad proxies interfere on the other. You just want ONE SIDE to stop providing aid and would never agree to a deal in which both sides stop outside aid. The rebels would. Why? Because Assad would fall in no time he is so vastly unpopular and hated. He was ready to go in May when outside intervention saved him.

    Fifth, the regime has inflicted more terror on the Syrian peope than all the rebels combined and more than its own allly, ISIS, which has no connection with rebels and has always worked for the regime. Al attacks on minorities came either from ISIS (on regime orders) or elements still allied with it. Even JAN avoids that. The reason ISIS was instructed by the regime to do this was because the latter needed terror attacks to scare minorities into supporting it. Minoritis are starting to catch on as the regime’s open support (and protection) of ISIS becomes more apparent to all.

    Finallly the shrill bitterness of your post suggests you have become aware of how badly things are going for the regime lately.

    • @ redtornados. [Edited by moderator]. I ask you to provide a shred of evidence that ISIS is in any way aiding or is a part of assad forces. Im sorry for you that you are trying to fool people in to thinking that ISIS is the bad guy. In my humble opinion they and (JAN) are the ones that truly fight for khilafah and thus against assad, the arab liga and the zionists. They are the ones that are fighting for a true islamic state where all the wealth of that state is for the people and to wage jihad. The fsa with its leader jamal have been bought of by the gulf countries, with the promise of power and wealth, to fight Alqaeda and throw sand in the eyes of the people. The entire plan is spinned by the mosad and the CIA. Devide and conquer. They dont want to deploy their own troops so they spread this lie and let them fight each other so that when this war is over (long time) they can establish anothet puppet regime that favours america and israel. Because they see the true horror scenario unfolding, an islamic state in the middle east, as they will fight israel and the arab regimes. And foil the euro american plan of 1924 for nationalism and the pigot country borders in the middle east. I am not saying that ISIS is without mistakes. [Edited by moderator]

      • Published by Swedish Institute of International Affairs.
        http://www.ui.se/upl/files/77409.pdf 2012 page 29

        The same source adds that Jabhat el Nosra freely receives non Syrian volunteers, and that although the foreigners rarely participate in battles, they carry out the majority of suicide operations and conduct training for local members. However, the source also claims that some members of Jabhat el-Nosra are known to him for collaborating with the Assad regime during the Iraq war, and states that he believes that the group is “indirectly” manipulated by the regime.

        ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

        http://www.syrianrevolutiondigest.com/p/whynonviolence-failed-in-syria-many.html

        The campaign by the Assad regime included releasing known Jihadi and terrorist elements from state prisons at the same time nonviolent protester leaders were imprisoned. This tactic is sometimes called “tailoring your enemies.” It is inherently a risky approach, but can serve to divide enemy ranks by creating a more radical camp in their midst, and, in this case, undermining the advocates of nonviolence. This tactic had been repeatedly used by the Assad regime in the Lebanese civil war allowing it to emerge as the main power broker there.

        As further evidence of this strategy, most of the weapons obtained by rebels in the early days of protest were purchased locally from officers who still worked for the regular army. Corruption on such a mass scale could not have escaped the attention of the regime for long, yet, since no one was ever punished, we are justified in concluding that the role of these officers was part of a strategy for transforming the nonviolent protest movement into an armed struggle.

        ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

        http://www.all4syria.info/Archive/125739

        – In June, 2013, after less than three months of the revolution, the regime has released around 1500 Islamic extremist detained from Saydnaya military prison and around 500 detained from Palestine security branch, who considered as elements of terrorist organizations, such as al-Qaeda and its sisters.

        ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
        http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/01/21/Al-Qaeda-detainees-reveal-ties-with-Assad.html

        Al-Qaeda detainees reveal ties with Assad

        “It happened once that a Syrian regime officer and 11 others defected and drove their vehicle through Masila [north of Raqqa]. We received ordered to arrest them and hand them over back to the regime,” a detained al-Qaeda member said.

        He said ISIS was behind a bombing that destroyed Raqqa’s train station last year. “We received orders from Commander Abu Anas al-Iraqi to bomb the train station. We were also ordered to fire on ambulances and civilians trying to reach the victims,” he said.

        Abu Anas al-Iraqi leads an al-Qaeda brigade in the province of Raqqa. He is nicknamed al-Iraqi after his country Iraq, where he used to work as an intelligence officer, according to another detainee.

        “Abu Anas is financed directly by the regime, through Iran and Iraq. His brigade is specialized in kidnappings, car bombs and targeted assassinations of FSA members,” the detainee said

    • RedTornadoes,
      The claim that the regime has allied with ISIS is complete rubbish and a conspiracy invented by the foreign fighters out of desperation. The fact that ISIS and JAN are fighting among themselves is certainly a gift to Assad but not his doing. After all, ISIS has already taken control of large parts of Northern Syria and implemented full Sharia law much like the Taliban did. That is certainly not in Assad’s interests.
      In fact it intelligence agencies have worked closely with Al Queda since the Iraq war.

      Sorry, but that’s not a fact all, anymore than the claim that Ian were working hand in hand with AQ. The radicalizing of the population and islamization of the rebellion began in 2007 as part of a a joint strategy between the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel. There was no civil war in Syria at the time, so Assad had nothing to do with that either.

      In fact, the White House has been spouting the same nonsense as you. These al-Qaeda affiliated groups, ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al Sham, all existed before the “revolution” in Syria started and they were all preparing to fight the Syrian government. Are you seriously suggesting that the Syrian president Assad created these even before the U.S. instigated campaign against him began? When the U.S. military withdrew from Vietnam and now from Afghanistan is it also “purposefully ceding some territory” so it can make the argument that it is “somehow the protector”? What utter nonsense.
      Secondly, Al Queda bitterly hates the Saudi regime. They are mortal enemies. The Saudis dont support Al Queda, unlike the regime.

      Wrong. The Saudis are the primary funders and supporters of AQ. While the relationship is not a cozy one, it is symbiotic. So long as the Saudis continue to fund and arm AQ, AQ agree to leave them alone and stay out of Saudi Arabia.

      The Saudis do subsidize and export Salafism which I think is a mistake. They did not do so before 1979 however and began doing so to counter to Iran’s regional quest for hegemony which requires Shia dominance in regional states.
      Wrong. There is no Iran’s regional quest for hegemony which requires Shia dominance in regional states. The reason the Saudis began to subsidize and export Salafism is to protect their own regional quest for hegemony. After 1979 they became the big player in the region thanks largely to favoured status with Washington and they are not willing to give that up.
      1979 also coincide with the campaign to lure the Soviets into Afghanistan in order to give then their own Vietnam war. Zbigniew Brzezinski has boasted repeatedly about this strategy and how well it worked.

      Thirdly, Russia and Iran intervened long before the Saudis. In all three hadn’t been involved in mass Sunni genocide Saudi’s woundn’t be involve now.

      Hat’s simply false. The Saudis became involved as early as 2007, which Sy Hersh documented at the time in his article, “The Redirection”, which documented how the US and Saudis schemed to topple the Assad regime by funding Al Qaeda affiliated Jihadists to begin launching such attack from Lebanon.
      http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/03/05/070305fa_fact_hersh
      They simply used the domestic uprising in 2011 to escalate their goals.

      Even so, the Saudis were restrained by a willingness to listen to the USA. It was only after Obama’s Rose Garden Betrayal and “free pass to genocide” chemical deal the Saudis began stepping up aid closer to Russian and Iranain levels. They still have a way to go but I suspect manpads will be coming soon. Hurrah!
      Oh please, what is this nonsense about Betrayal? He Saudis were almost entirely behind the 911 attacks back in 2001. If it wasn’t for Bush’s redaction of 28 pages of the 911 Commission Report which devastatingly points the finger at the Saudis, the US would have been bombing Ryad in 2003, not Baghdad.

      Fourth, it is hypocritical to complain about the Saudis interfering on one side when Iran, Putin ad proxies interfere on the other.
      Not at all. The Iran and Russia and supporting the government of Syria against foreign backed fighters who are there to impose regime change. Polls show that 71% of Syrians support Assad in this conflict, so if you want to pretend about supporting Syrians and democratic principals, then clearly you would be supporting their position, not the rebels. As for the dishonest claim about “free pass to genocide”, let’s stop pretending that the Saudis care one iota about the death toll in Syria other than how to exploit it.
      No one in the right minds believed that the Saudis aims in Syria have anything to do with the plight of Syrians. Their goal is to impose regime change in order to isolate Iran. This is part of their war against Iran and they could care less if this means destroying Syria along the way.

      You just want ONE SIDE to stop providing aid and would never agree to a deal in which both sides stop outside aid. The rebels would.

      You cannot be serious. The rebels have no desire to end outside aid because without it, their campaign would collapse overnight. Just look at Idris. His sole task 24/7, is to gallivant around the ME and Near East States to raise money.
      Because Assad would fall in no time he is so vastly unpopular and hated.

      Wrong again. A google search shows that a majority of Syrians support Assad over the insurgency. The Google results give figures as high as 70% in support of him, some figures being 55%, and perhaps other figures lower but still meaningful (40%?) for a serious presidential candidate in a parliamentary election.

      Fifth, the regime has inflicted more terror on the Syrian peope than all the rebels combined and more than its own allly, ISIS, which has no connection with rebels and has always worked for the regime.

      Actually that is entirely debatable. Some reports have shown that the Assad regime is responsible for less than half the numbers of casualties.

      Al attacks on minorities came either from ISIS (on regime orders) or elements still allied with it. Even JAN avoids that.
      What re you talking about? JAN and the Islamic front have perpetrated massacres on a large scale.
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/jabhat-al-nusra
      http://www.syrianews.cc/terrorists-syria-massacre-kurds-120-children/
      http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/middle-east/fundamentalists-massacre-15-alawite-and-druze-civilians-in-syria-1.1625999
      The reason ISIS was instructed by the regime to do this was because the latter needed terror attacks to scare minorities into supporting it.
      Don’t be ridiculous. Terror attacks have been perpetrated since 2011 and the minorities have been scared long about by the cannibalistic, suicide bombing, head shopping lunatics.
      Finallly the shrill bitterness of your post suggests you have become aware of how badly things are going for the regime lately.
      Lately, the regime has been doing pretty well. So well in fact that as Scott even admits, Washington will be forced to back him.

      • The beginning of the iranian shia terror

        Tehran is a new and trivial city; it is nowhere near as prestigious as cities such as Mecca, Medina, Bagdad, Damascus, Cairo or
        Istanbul.

        The two holy Islamic cities in Iran – Mashhad and Qum are only holy in the eyes of Shi‟a believers. Conscious of these handicaps, Khomeini and his successor have made considerable efforts to seize control over some of the Islamic holy centers recognized unanimously by all Muslims. During the first years of the Revolution, Khomeini‟s attention was primarily oriented towards Mecca and Medina, the most sacred of Islamic cities.

        To reach this objective, he tried to destabilize the Saudi royal family‟s power by supporting unrest in the Kingdom, for instance in connection with the military occupation of the holy mosque of Mecca (20 November 1979) by Saudi Islamists and by provoking bloody manifestations during the hajj pilgrimages.

        Together with various other terrorist actions perpetrated by Iran (e.g. the attack on Khobar, the US military base in Saudi Arabia on 25 June 1996), these events created difficulties for the Saudi kingdom but did not bring it down. Parallel to these initiatives, Khomeini developed a Plan B consisting of the conquest of Jerusalem.

        After Khomeini‟s death (June 1989), Plan B became the master plan of the Islamic Republic of Iran. As stated earlier, the „liberation‟ of Palestine has always been one of the Islamic goals of Revolutionary Iran. This trend has continued and was reinforced
        after 1990.

        During the eight years of war with Iraq, Khomeini attempted to justify the deliberate prolongation of the war by declaring that the „the route to Jerusalem goes through Karbala‟ (a holy city in Iraq). Furthermore, Iran is the only country with a „Jerusalem Day‟
        ( Rouz-e Quds , the last Friday of the month of Ramadan), and also the only country that has established a Jerusalem Army (Sepahe Quds ).

        This marks the beginning of sectarian clashes in the whole Middle East – caused by inferiority complexes of the iranian regime.
        Wether Khomenei was – yet khamenei is the true leader of shia – not to mention the leader of whole islam. This complexes are one source of shiite imperialism and terrorism today: the attempt to achieve political and religious supremacy in the Middle East
        to compensate the complexes.

        But what did Khamenei has gained?

        Terror at Libanon, Syria and Iraq, lots of enemies in the whole world, massmurder at syria and the signs of the bankruptcy of IRI and the destructive trend in economics, agriculture, finance, industry, education and medical care, communications, transportation, environment and even defense potentials are becoming clearer by the day. Without any doubt, the rapid degeneration of the country towards the precipice and destruction of national potentials, values and the country is picking up momentum.

        Someone have to be totally stupid to want to sell this as progress.

        • To reach this objective, he tried to destabilize the Saudi royal family‟s power by supporting unrest in the Kingdom

          That’s a case fo the pot calling the kettle black. The reason the Saudis are backing Al Qaeda in Syria is to destroy Syria and isolate Iran, thereby trying to prevent Iran challenging Saudi Arabia’s regional dominance.

          The problem for the Saudis is that it is a 3rd world country run by a bunch of in bred and largely illiterate geriatrics with no plans to create a modern and thriving state.

          Meanwhile, European and Western businessmen and now flying into Tehran trying to secure lucrative business deals. Everyone knows the sanctions are finished, no matter how the nuclear deal goes.

  3. @gunnyi. For the first “so called evidence” who is this so called single source? Intellegence agencies are comprised if people rising for the occasion and call them selves a source. And as for http://www.ui.se. i will place a piece of text from the site itself. They are being financed for one third of their budget by governments. Search it and you will find it. I will leave you guessing which governements. This is no evidence that ISIS or JA is collaborating with the assad regime.

    For the second. This is no evidence. If assad released mujahideen prisoners loyal to Alqaeda he made a mistake, as he was hoping this tactic would help him pursway the west to help him fight Alqaeda. Again no evidence that ISIS or JA is collaborating with the assad regime.

    For the third. The same story apllies here as i have written above. Again no evidence .
    For the fourth. Alarabiya media outlet is a saudie arabia funded news network. They have very very much interest in making ISIS and JA look bad. As for the information given. Lets assume this is an Alqaeda warrior, is the information he has given while in custody of an arab regime given freely or under torture? Is the info hr gave directly to a reporter or through the authorities that keep him hostage?

  4. Syria’s Assad accused of boosting al-Qaeda with secret oil deals

    Western intelligence suggests Bashar al-Assad collaborating with jihadists to persuade West the uprising is terrorist-led

    The Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad has funded and co-operated with al-Qaeda in a complex double game even as the terrorists fight Damascus, according to new allegations by Western intelligence agencies, rebels and al-Qaeda defectors.

    Jabhat al-Nusra, and the even more extreme Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS), the two al-Qaeda affiliates operating in Syria, have both been financed by selling oil and gas from wells under their control to and through the regime, intelligence sources have told The Daily Telegraph.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10585391/Syrias-Assad-accused-of-boosting-al-Qaeda-with-secret-oil-deals.html

    • Syria’s Assad accused of boosting al-Qaeda with secret oil deals

      There is all sorts of garbage floating around the internet about oil sales and who is backing al Qaeda.

      Former UK ambassador, Craig Murray, reports that Israel has granted oil exploration rights inside Syria, in the occupied Golan Heights, to Genie Energy. Major shareholders of Genie Energy – which also has interests in shale gas in the United States and shale oil in Israel – include Rupert Murdoch.

      It’s no wonder then that a trash Murdoch tabloid like the Telegraph, is pointing the finger at Assad. No source is mentioned for the Telegraph’s allegations, no evidence and not even the country who’s intelligence is allegedly making these claims.

      Epic fail!!

  5. Syria’s duplicity over al-Qaeda means West will not trust Assad

    How one of Osama bin Laden’s personal envoys, Mohammed Bahaiah, ended up in an Assad regime dungeon is a long story with several details missing.

    How he came to be free to run al-Qaeda’s errands again is simpler: he was released in 2011, on the orders of the Syrian president.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10585394/Syrias-duplicity-over-al-Qaeda-means-West-will-not-trust-Assad.html

    Cases like his showed what really happened – Islamist militants were released, while secular activists continued to be rounded up.

    Assads co-operation with al Qaeda is double-sided:

    1. Direct dealings between Assad and Al Qaeda afilates

    2. Tactic “tailoring your enemies.”

    However this cooperation is valued between Assad and Al Qaeda: Where is the always claimed struggle of Assad against El Qaida?

    There is none.

    • Syria’s duplicity over al-Qaeda means West will not trust Assad

      That’s an odd expression. It’s a bit like saying the the Nazi’s would not trust the British. In the case of the US, they are tying to overthrow Assad, so the suggestion that he is therefore not trustworthy is pretty absurd. Who trusts the person they are tryign to stab in the back?

      How one of Osama bin Laden’s personal envoys, Mohammed Bahaiah, ended up in an Assad regime dungeon is a long story with several details missing.

      It’s laughable how these so called personal envoys and Al Qaeda number 2 men keep appearing out of nowhere. Never heard of before or ever mentioned.

      Of course, McClathcy has totally destroyed Richard Spencer’s pathetic propaganda,

      http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/01/17/214966/key-anti-assad-rebel-leader-acknowledges.html

  6. Assads claim combating Al Qaeda is a lie.
    Russia and Iran face a choice about continuing to support ‘crazy’ Al Assad –

    As The National reports today, another defector has also revealed that the regime’s claim about having to combat Al Qaeda radicals is a lie because it was Syrian intelligence agencies that released Islamist militants from prisons to subvert the peaceful uprising.

    The move is widely seen as a tactic by the regime to turn the peaceful uprising in the beginning to an armed one, to persuade the world that it was indeed fighting Islamic radicals.

    In an interview broadcast on YouTube this week, one of those prisoners, Zahran Aloush who leads a major fighting group that operates around Damascus, conceded that the regime might have released them to radicalise the uprising. The reports show that Mr Al Assad has no principles and that he is willing to do whatever it takes to stay in power.

    http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/editorial/russia-and-iran-face-a-choice-about-continuing-to-support-crazy-al-assad#ixzz2rKJv0tZ3

    • As The National reports today, another defector has also revealed that the regime’s claim about having to combat Al Qaeda radicals is a lie because it was Syrian intelligence agencies that released Islamist militants from prisons to subvert the peaceful uprising.

      The claim carries zero credibility as there is no evidence that this so called defector is a defector or that his claims have any truth to them.

      The move is widely seen as a tactic by the regime to turn the peaceful uprising in the beginning to an armed one, to persuade the world that it was indeed fighting Islamic radicals.

      For this to hold water, it would have to mean that Assad was colluding with the Saudis, who are supplying the weapons.

      This is just the latest efforts from the Saudis to sabotage Geneva II. They can’t win the war so they are trying to win by manipulating international opinion.

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