The time is now right for the Syrian opposition to put before US President Donald Trump the evidence of the collaboration between ISIS/Daesh and the Assad regime.

We now know Trump has changed his opinion about the future of Assad. The Syrian opposition must capitalize on this dramatic development and seize the opportunity to present Trump with the evidence of the regime’s collaboration with ISIS so that the American administration fully understands what is it dealing with.

In May last year Sky News correspondent Stuart Ramsay, and others, obtained documents proving collaboration between ISIS and the regime.

The files show that the militant group has been training foreign fighters to attack Western targets for much longer than security services had suspected.

The documents also provided evidence that the Assad regime has been colluding with the jihadists, who have captured more than half of Syria’s territory since 2012.

A pro regime website (Syrian Perspective) quoted General Ali Abdullah Ayyoob, Chief of the Syrian General Staff as saying after ISIS withdrew from Palmyra: “the rats (ISIS men) inside were finally given the go-ahead to withdraw to Al-Sukhna, Al-Raqqa and Deir Ezzor. “ The Syrian high command ordered troops to stand down until the last ‘rodent’ had left

In February 2015 the USA embassy in Damascus accused the regime of supporting the ISIS advance on Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, and tweeted – “Reports indicate that the regime is making air-strikes in support of ISIL’s advance on Aleppo, aiding extremists against Syrian population.”

In a string of tweets, the U.S. embassy condemned Assad’s actions, saying he “will never be an effective counterterrorism partner.” Embassy operations have been suspended since 2012, but the Twitter account is still active.

In January 2014 a report in the Daily Telegraph by Ruth Sherlock drew attention to the oil deals between ISIS and the Assad regime. “The regime has “financed” the jihadists “by selling oil and gas from wells under their control to and through the regime”.

Ample evidence also exists to prove Iran’s collusion with Al Qaeda. The US 9/11 Commission Report had already established that Iran “facilitated the transit of Al-Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, including future hijackers.”  Iran, according to the report, wished to conceal any past evidence of its cooperation with Sunni terrorists’ association with Al-Qaeda,” but these connections continued.

At ISIL’s headquarters in rural western Aleppo in March 2014 opposition forces discovered official documents, passports and SIM cards issued by the Iranian authorities to fighters from Chechnya and Kazakhstan.
ISIS suddenly emerged in Syria, at a time when the collapse of Assad’s regime seemed imminent. The emergence of ISIS saved the Syrian regime by threatening the world that an alternative terrorist regime would replace Assad.
As President Trump ponders is next move he must factor in the Assad/ISIS nexus.

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5 Comments on "Trump’s Air Strikes and the Assad/ISIS Nexus"

  1. Peter Kennedy | 12th April 2017 at 7:21 am | Reply

    “At ISIL’s headquarters in rural western Aleppo in March 2014 opposition forces discovered official documents, passports and SIM cards issued by the Iranian authorities”

    Now I am REALLY confused. I have always been told that ISIS/ISIL are a Sunni Muslim organisation, so why are they being backed by Shiite Iran?

  2. Good question Peter.This is precisely the point. Iran has been using Al_Qaeda which is a Sunni terrorist outfit since the 1990s. Many of Al-Qaeda officers escaped to Iran after the Americans attacked Afghanistan. The US 9/11 Commission Report had already established that Iran “facilitated the transit of Al-Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, including future hijackers.” Iran, according to the report, wished to conceal any past evidence of its cooperation with Sunni terrorists’ association with Al-Qaeda,” but these connections continued.

  3. I am confused too and the more I read the more confused I become. Is it at all possible to make any sense of this or is it just far too complex?

    For a lot of people even those who have some knowledge of the region the conflict has so many factions and strands it can be almost impossible to know who the good guys are and who is fighting who. In 2011 it started as an uprising against Assad but today you have the likes of ISIS, the Syrian Arab army loyal to Assad, The free Syrian army, other Syrian opposition groups, the kurds.islamist groups like Al Qaeda and Hezbollah and the list goes on
    Into this volatile mix you have interested parties like Turkey, Iran, Israel, the United States and Russia all vying for influence.

    I have no doubt that it serves Assad to portray ISIS as the real enemy whilst at the same time collaborating with them .He will undoubtedly do anything to hang on to power. To the casual observer it is one unholy mess. Yes Trump needs to factor in the Assad/ISIS nexus but there are many more strands and dangerous subplots to this that will need untangling too. My worry is will the removal of Assad bring about an even more chilling scenario no one yet can foresee? Can anyone predict what would happen if Assad was forcibly removed? Dangerous times with no easy answers for the tragic Syrian people.

  4. Thanks Paul. I don’t disagree it is confusing and messy with so many groups are involved in the fighting. The focus is on ISIS because Ira, Russia and Assad are using it as the pretext to fight the anti-Assad rebels and keep Assad in power. So the longer ISIS survives the better for Assad and his supporters. I don’t underestimate the complexities of the situation.

  5. Thanks Nehad and your explanation is helpful and sheds a bit of light.

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