Skip to Content

Idleb province; General Joseph Dunford

Infighting erupt between anti-Assad gangs in Syria

New infighting erupted in the north-west Idleb governate and the city of Idleb in Syria between between Ahrar al-Sham and Tahrir al-Sham.

Published: July 24, 2017, 9:15 am

    Read more

    Ahrar, an off-shoot of al Qaeda, is supported by Qatar and Turkey while Tahrir (Jabhat al Nusra) is said to have support from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Members of the CIA’s Free Syrian Army (FSA) gangs were intermixed with these, blogger Moon of Alabama (MoA) explained.

    “Their primary task was to collect supplies from the CIA in Turkey and to distribute those to their friends in al-Qaeda and Ahrar al-Sham. Each of these groups received support in the range of at least $1 billion per year,” the blogger said. But the diplomatic tension between Qatar and Saudi Arabia has limited interest in their proxies in Syria.

    The Trump administration’s decision to end the CIA support program for its FSA proxies in the north-west, changed the dynamic between the various anti-Assad factions, MoA added. But the CIA still supports other groups, according to Russia’s top diplomat.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told NBC last week that he rejected the claims of an end to CIA support to the insurgents: “I understand that the US supports much more groups than just the ones, which were announced as being left without the American weapons.”

    Lavrov had warned against illegal US bases in Syria, after US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis last month suggested the possibility of longer-term assistance to Kurdish YPG militia in Syria, saying the United States may need to supply them weapons and equipment even after the capture of Islamic State’s Syria stronghold of Raqqa.

    Speaking at a security conference at the Aspen Institute, US Special Operations Command chief Army General Raymond Thomas however admitted that international law could prevent the US from maintaining a long-term presence in Syria.

    Russia’s involvement in Syria was at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, something that Thomas said could allow Moscow to make a solid case against the United States for leaving Syria.

    “Here’s the conundrum: We are operating in the sovereign country of Syria. The Russians, their stalwarts, their backstoppers have already uninvited the Turks from Syria. We’re a bad day away from the Russians saying, ‘Why are you still in Syria, US?,'” Thomas said.

    The Syrian military’s successful recapture of Aleppo has widely been considered a turning point in the war and demonstrated how Russia’s support was crucial to end the advances of foreign funded ISIS jihadists.

    But according British Major General Rupert Jones, the US-led coalition will have “a great deal more” to do in Syria even after defeating the Islamic State in Raqqa. Jones spoke to the media in the town of Ain Issa, 50km north of Raqqa.

    The deputy commander of the coalition told AFP on Sunday: “Daesh is not defeated with the liberation of Raqqa. The defeat of Daesh was not completed with the liberation of Mosul” in Iraq,” Jones said. “We know as an international coalition there’s still a great deal more to do here in Syria.”

    He said that the US-backed Arab-Kurdish alliance known as the Syrian Democratic Forces “have proved themselves to be a reliable counter-Daesh partner”. But MoA pointed out that the attacking Kurds will have high losses in dislodging ISIS completely from Raqqa eventually, which “even after ISIS is defeated will never submit to Kurdish control”.

    “One wonders how the political leadership of the YPG will justify this costly effort when questioned by its constituency,” MoA remarked.

    According to the coalition, 603 civilians have been killed in US-led strikes on Iraq and Syria since the air campaign against ISIS was launched at the end of 2014.

    But Airwars, a London-based collective of journalists and researchers that tracks civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria, noted that 744 civilians were killed in coalition strikes in Syria and Iraq in the month of June alone.

    Meanwhile the chairman of the American Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, who also spoke at the Aspen security forum, said the Syrian authorities did not carry out attacks using chemical weapons, at least not after the US carried out its missile strike against Syria.

    In June, the White House surprisingly claimed that the Syrian government was gearing itself up for what was described as a “new attack by using chemical weapons”.

    Last week, Wikileaks’ Julian Assange continued his crusade to accurately reporting the truth about Syria. On Twitter, Assange highlighted an article from Thursday where the Financial Times noted how many Syrian rebels are getting salaries from the CIA.

    According to the Financial Times: “Rebels contacted by the FT say their CIA interlocutors had not confirmed any change, and political opposition figures, who met with US officials this week, say they, too, were given no hint of any change. The White House has not confirmed that the programme has been cancelled.”

    Anti-Assad commanders confirmed to the FT that their salaries had been paid by the CIA last month.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Middle East

    Hero commander killed in Syria – when the war is nearly won

    For most Syrians it came as a shock: One of the most popular military commanders of the Syrian Arab Army, Issam Zahreddine, was killed on 18 October 2017.

    Russians furious after US attack on Syrian forces

    TanfRussia has reacted with fury over an illegal US coalition airstrike in Syria. An air force group of the US-led counter-terrorist squad on May 18 attacked pro-government forces operating within the established de-escalation zone northwest of Tanf.

    Fake news: Syria is burning bodies to hide proof of mass killings

    WashingtonThe US State Department has alleged that 50 detainees are being hanged each day at Syria's Saydnaya military prison, about 45 minutes north of Damascus.

    Washington’s mission: Creating chaos in the Middle East

    INTERVIEWDr. Elie Hatem is a Lebanese-French lawyer, political advisor and one of the most respected experts in France regarding the Middle East. In an exclusive talk to Free West Media, Dr. Hatem explains the links between the different battle fields of the Middle East region and the suicidal politics of the European Union.

    Israeli president lashes out at Marine for denying collective French guilt

    GalileeIsraeli President Reuven Rivlin said on Holocaust Remembrance Day that the trend across Europe to minimize crimes against Jews during the holocaust was dangerous, signalling that the French bear a collective and unending responsibility that ought to continue for generations to come.

    Pentagon chief ‘no longer doubts’ Syrian chemical weapons

    Pentagon chief, general James Mattis says there is "no doubt" that Syrian government has chemical weapons.

    MIT weapons expert rubbishes White House paper on Syrian attack

    WashingtonAn American weapons expert from MIT believes the Trump administration’s reason for blaming the Assad government for the April 4 chemical attack in the Idlib province is based on lies.

    Trump warns of escalating Syrian conflict in letter to Congress

    WashingtonDonald Trump has written a letter to the US Congress justifying his attack on Syria. The letter would also appear to indicate that the American president is prepared to escalate the conflict.

    Former UK ambassador says no proof of Syrian gas attack

    The former UK ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, believes the chemical attack in Syria was a false flag operation.

    US missile attack on Syria ends US-Russian cooperation

    WashingtonThe US has attacked a Syrian air base with about 60 missiles in retaliation for an alleged chemical attack in Idlib, US officials say, but Russian President Putin “regards the strikes as aggression against a sovereign nation”.

    Go to archive