Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 12, 2013

Syria: U.S. Plans Are In Shambles

On Friday the Al-Qaeda Light™ Islamist Front in Syria took over the headquarter and warehouses of the U.S. proxy force - the Supreme Military Council. The head of the SMC, General Idris first fled to Turkey and then to Doha, Qatar. The Unites States and Great Britain claim to have stopped providing 'non-lethal' aid to the insurgency in North Syria. Turkey is said to have closed its border to Syria though there is some doubt about that:

One Western diplomat expressed doubt that the Turkish government was fully cooperating with Western efforts to staunch the flow of fighters. "We are still experiencing operational difficulties, although we have seen signs that it is improving. As to whether a ‘shift’ ever occurred, that is still an open question,” the diplomat says.

The U.S. claims it still has to learn what actually was stolen from its 'non-lethal' aid but the Free Syrian Army certainly knows its losses. The cache on 'non-lethal' aid captured by the Islamic Front was indeed significant:

[A senior FSA Supreme Military Council official] said that the Islamic Front raided a total of ten warehouses belonging to the Western-backed umbrella group and seized a significant arsenal of weaponry, including 2,000 AK-47 rifles, 1,000 assorted arms—including M79 Osa rocket launchers, rocket-propelled grenades, and 14.5mm heavy machine guns—in addition to more than 200 tons of ammunition. At least 100 FSA military vehicles were also taken in the attack.

U.S. lethal and 'non-lethal' aid is still flowing, though now mainly through Jordan, and Turkey is silently keeping up its support for AlQaeda in Syria and Iraq. The U.S. never had qualms with using Islamist proxy forces. It is in talks with the Islamist Front and I doubt that it is retracting from its general plan of destroying Syria. The ideological differences between the FSA, the Islamist Front and AlQaeda are anyway small - if they exist at all.

But the Free Syrian Army, which never really existed as a consistent fighting force force, and the Syrian Military Council are finished. The Islamic Front, sponsored mainly by Saudi Arabia, is now the main opposition to the Syrian state. The U.S. plans to present some alternative government structure to the Syrian government are finished too. The Islamist Front is not presentable as such. It has committed war crimes and kidnaps and kills journalists and the few civil opposition activists who actually exist. If the Geneva II talks, announced for January, actually happen there will be no one other than the current Syrian government who can claim legitimacy.

When Thomas Hegghammer and other 'experts' muses about the ideological motives of the foreign Islamist fighters in Syria they miss the most profane but most important one: money. The Islamist Front and other  fighters are offered and paid relatively high wages by the various clandestine outlets in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere:

One Kuwait-based effort raised money to equip 12,000 rebel fighters for $2,500 each.

For many unemployed young men in the Middle East and elsewhere $2,500 is more than they can hope to make anywhere else. The ideological motivation of violent Jihad is only a smoke screen to disguise that these are foreign sponsored mercenaries.

When the Gulf oil dictatorships call for 'foreign militias' to leave Syria they of course do not refer to those they are paying themselves. They still have illusions that their mercenaries could actually win but they lost the battle for Damascus and will lose the war over Syria. Soon the blow back will come to their countries.

Posted by b on December 12, 2013 at 8:26 UTC | Permalink


It's just one big Play-Doh Fun Factory for the Neo-Cons. As I've said before, eliminate the jihadists and destroy the least-favored nation in one easy step.

Posted by: biklett | Dec 12 2013 8:40 utc | 1

Matthew Keys ‏@MatthewKeysLive 11h
Transcript of the first live interview with the Syrian Electronic Army (@Official_SEA16) -
Retweeted by SyrianElectronicArmy

Posted by: brian | Dec 12 2013 9:15 utc | 2

"Soon the blow back will come to their countries."

I hope it's short ... and complete.

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 12 2013 10:46 utc | 3

Excellent article, I had to laugh when the O'bama administration urged General Idriss to return to Syria, to which Idris probably said "Do not want to go back, it's far too dangerous, far better to be an armchair General. "First keyboard Brigade" and, "have you seen the videos that our allies in the various Islamist factions do to the people they don't like? F--k that, if you want to change things, you go".

Posted by: harrylaw | Dec 12 2013 11:01 utc | 4

Syria: #Terrorists Targeting Civilians
TEHRAN (FNA)- This video shows how Al-#Nusra Front terrorists patrol cities on tanks to find a target, no matter it is a military or a civilian. The terrorists hit an unarmed man who is driving his car in a town where there is no clash underway as part of their targeting practice.

Posted by: brian | Dec 12 2013 11:14 utc | 5

"U.S. lethal and 'non-lethal' aid is still flowing...."

Officially, incorrect.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 12 2013 11:57 utc | 6

Iraq has purchased 24 multirole fighters T-50 from South Korea in deal worth $1.1B. Iraqis rejected variant equipped with the Israeli radar. Iraq Gov. shows independence from the main suppliers: the US, and Russia.

This, sort of, confirm that Iraqi indeed found spy devices in recently procured F-16s.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 12 2013 12:24 utc | 7

This guy with interesting CV,, has something to say. From Beirut, allegedly!

While he said nothing new, he is kind of sympathetic to Assad. PressTV has a habit to call this type of speaker on its shows. Dominant narrative of PressTV and its guests is "efforts of KSA" to undermine Assad and the like.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 12 2013 12:46 utc | 8

Excellent post. The NYT article on the Islamic Front seizure of the Supreme Military Council warehouses and headquarters quotes Frederic C. Hof, a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and former Special Advisor for Transition in Syria at State Dept. saying the party is over for the FSA:

“For all practical purposes, the moderate armed opposition that the administration really wanted to support — albeit in a hesitant and halfhearted way — is now on the sidelines,” said Frederic C. Hof, who as a State Department official worked on plans for a political transition in Syria and is now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.
If you have one the architects for regime change throwing in the towel on the opposition, one wonders what Kerry is willing to accept at Montreaux.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Dec 12 2013 13:01 utc | 9

PressTV and LA Times on the same line.

I noticed long ago that Iran and US media's are having the same narrative.

I'm not sure what's the motives of Tehran are and how its goals are feasible, but to me it is an interesting thing. And yes, there is an history of cooperation with Washington. Joint Venture project of Evangelicals-Vahhabis-Zionists did not go trough. Why is Tehran bailing out Washington is unknown to me.,0,3840278.story#axzz2nGVVM9TB

"But reports from inside Syria indicate that Al Qaeda groups and other militant Islamist militias -- some supported by Saudi Arabia, a close U.S. ally -- are emerging as the most powerful factions in the deeply fractured opposition ranks."

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 12 2013 13:05 utc | 10

@neretva'43 | 7

Not exactly sure why Iraq picked these fighters, obviously not to defend from Iran or Syria, and these fighters wont work against US and its alies. Aside of S.Korea being a puppet state, T-50s are derived from F-16 and co-developed with Lockheed Martin.

Posted by: Harry | Dec 12 2013 13:13 utc | 11

I am sure Korean's T-50 isn't in same class as F-16, let alone "e" variant with Block 60.

It is rather in class of Czech L-159 (which we have a chance to see it in Syria) or Russian Yak-150. Both light bomber and training jet.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 12 2013 13:20 utc | 12

Second thing this is done with approval from Washington, since the jet is powered with the U.S. made engine. Not sure about avionics.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 12 2013 13:27 utc | 13

Not sure how far Montreaux from Davos is, where in same time the World Economic Forum is going to take place.

Iran has been invited too.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 12 2013 13:35 utc | 14

"The similarities between Israel and Nazi Germany are "crushingly obvious," Pink Floyd band member and anti-Israel activist Roger Waters said. Waters continued his call for a cultural boycott of Israel in an interview with CounterPunch magazine."

Is he right? Undoubtedly, but one sided.

But, always excellent Joseph Massad in his piece offer us different picture. He mentioned "European and Euro-American Christian Zionists"

Settler State is colonial project of "European and Euro-American Christian Zionists". Being partial isn't answer, he seems to believe that Settler State has "right" to be there. Roger Waters omits to mention similarities between the UK government and its master, with a Nazis as well.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 12 2013 14:02 utc | 15

Massad obviously supports The Khazar Hypothesis Regarding The Origin Of The 'Ashkenazi Jews'. This hypothesis has, ahem, not won universal acceptance, alas. He is therefore incorrect to say in Thesis V:

It remains utterly uncontroversial that modern European Jews ... are descendants of European converts to Judaism who were and are foreign to Palestine’s geography.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Dec 12 2013 14:43 utc | 16

But Zionist America will continue to flail with ever more obvious and outrageous groveling. Just in the last 2-3 days we've seen:

1) a member of the Dept of State - Nuland - who is married to one of the CO-FOUNDERS of PNAC - Robert Kagan stirring up sh!te in Ukraine. BTW, speaking of PNAC, here's an oldish link detailing Israeli involvement in 9/11 just so no one here gets distracted a la "progressive" sheep as to the "exciting" talk about "release" of 28 pages of redacted blah blah blah pointing to Saudi involvement in 9/11. Wow, warmed over intel does seem to get every one so excited as of late. Oh well. Israel who? (gee, funny how they have slipped out of the Syria limelight as well, huh?)

2) the disclosure that dual Israeli-American citizen Stanley Fischer is leaving his post at the Bank of Israel to become the 2nd in command at the US Federal Reserve.

3) the US Congress begins debate about ramming through more restrictions on Iran at the behest of the Zionist Lobby even though the American public is clearly sick of all of this shit.

4) the Executive branch - as b notes - quietly impose more sanctions on Iran so that the above Robert Kagan's employer's - i.e., the Brooking Institution - war-plan on Iran entitled "Which Path To Persia?" - one in which it was stated back in 2009 that it was necessary for Iran to appear to walk away from talks before war could commence - seems to be taking shape.

Yup, looks like a full-court press by the traitorous Zionist scum of the planet - gee, just in time for Xmas when no one is really paying attention, huh? what a coincidence! - to bring about even more murder, mayhem and bloodshed. For the latecomers another re-post to a link showing that there is basically NO DIFFERENCE between neoconveratism and Zionism as it exists in America just in case you're suffering from progtard syndrome and believe that any politician claiming to be a Zionist is NOT fully on board with neoconservative war-mongering.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Dec 12 2013 15:54 utc | 17


"traitorous Zionist scum" is meant in the sense that these people are traitors to HUMANITY not to any nation-state as that is a laughable notion concerning Zionism. Loyalty to a country in which a person was born? BWAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! That's some funny sh!te!

Posted by: JSorrentine | Dec 12 2013 15:58 utc | 18

It's great news alright. Salim Idriss, commander of the Free Syrian Army, and the West's last hope, running away to Turkey and then Doha after Jihadists seize his own headquarters. Too good. What's better is I read about it last night right after reading this article also on the collapse of the FSA:

Pretty soon there won’t actually be any FSA, at least not in terms of actual physical presence. To make matters worse, what was left of the FSA in the northeast of Syria, namely in the al-Qaeda-dominated al-Raqqa province, has disintegrated. As the Ahfad al-Rasoul Battalion splintered into different groups, many later pledged allegiance to ISIS. The same story was repeated in oil-rich Dier Ezzor, where tribal leaders opted to accept al-Qaeda’s presence instead of challenging it. In Aleppo, the FSA are being squeezed even further with ISIS openly threatening their leadership and positions in the north, just as the regime gains ground and consolidates its hold over the southern countryside of Aleppo.

The FSA have already been pretty much dismantled in Homs and Damascus, the remaining forces here being Nusra and ISIS. Now there franchise in Raqqa province has spintered and mostly joined ISIS, the tribes in Deir Ezzor province have stopped backing them, leaving the only strong FSA presence located in Aleppo and Idleb. But even in Aleppo FSA leaders are being assassinated and threatened by ISIS and now the loss of Salim Idriss headquarters in Idleb. They are crumbling faster than they were created.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Dec 12 2013 17:59 utc | 19

Naive questions: What happens with the 1500 European Jihadists (1000 of which are from UK and France alone), when they return to their homes? Are they all of a sudden going to put the days of beheading, raping and looting behind them? Or are they going to wage a jihad in their neighborhoods?

Posted by: TikTok | Dec 12 2013 19:36 utc | 20
The two bishops, the nuns, the hundreds of inviduals can wait. What is really terrible is that journalist get kidnapped too.
They can fly people to the moon but they don't know how to make proper tents for winter.
(includes an important "detail": "Twelve planeloads of supplies will be flown in over the next few days, ahead of what the UN fears will be the region's harshest winter in a century.
The decision was made after land convoys were shot at, harassed, and detained at check points, officials said."

BY WHOM? it would be politically incorrect to say it...

Posted by: Mina | Dec 12 2013 20:32 utc | 21

Houps, I skipped the first sentence of the 2nd article, which explains what we are talking about: "The latest warning comes after the UNHCR announced on Tuesday that it would be airlifting food and other aid items into northern Syria from Iraq for the first time."
Does it mean they will air drop it? Why not mentioning then that it is in agreement with the Syrian gov?

Posted by: Mina | Dec 12 2013 20:34 utc | 22

"With every day that passes the opposition is getting more fractured," said a Western diplomat. "We have to make sure they turn up and they are united. That is the biggest challenge."

Experts from the United Nations and Western allies are helping prepare opposition representatives for tough negotiations. "The Swiss are doing it, the Americans too. They are training them in negotiating skills," said one source.

The Western diplomat said: "They need a lot of work, they have to be ready to come to the table, be ready to speak, have a communications strategy and understand the negotiating process."

Read more:
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

Posted by: Mina | Dec 12 2013 20:53 utc | 23

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