By Tony Cartalucci
August 10, 2012
Both British and American journalists have clearly identified and documented the presence of foreign fighters with militant extremist ties pouring over the Turkish-Syrian border, most recently in an attempt to overrun the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. CNN, whose Ivan Watson accompanied FSA terrorists over the Turkish-Syrian border and into Aleppo revealed that indeed foreign fighters were amongst the militants. It was admitted that:
On Wednesday, CNN’s crew met a Libyan fighter who had crossed into Syria from Turkey with four other Libyans. The fighter wore full camouflage and was carrying a Kalashnikov rifle. He said more Libyan fighters were on the way.
"The Syrian rebels would be immeasurably weaker today without al-Qaeda in their ranks. By and large, Free Syrian Army (FSA) battalions are tired, divided, chaotic, and ineffective. Feeling abandoned by the West, rebel forces are increasingly demoralized as they square off with the Assad regime's superior weaponry and professional army. Al-Qaeda fighters, however, may help improve morale. The influx of jihadis brings discipline, religious fervor, battle experience from Iraq, funding from Sunni sympathizers in the Gulf, and most importantly, deadly results. In short, the FSA needs al-Qaeda now."
Also, to be clear, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) is in fact an affiliate of Al Qaeda with its commanders having occupied the highest echelons of Al Qaeda's command structure and having participated in every combat engagement Al Qaeda has conducted since its inception via US-Saudi cash and arms in the mountains of Afghanistan in the 1980's. This was documented meticulously in the US Army's West Point Combating Terrorism Center report, "Al-Qa'ida's Foreign Fighters in Iraq."
LIFG is also listed by both the US State Department and the UK Home Office (page 5, .pdf) as a foreign terrorist organization and a proscribed terrorist organization respectively.
Foreign Policy's admission of al-Harati's role in organizing and leading the FSA in Syria, and the inclusion of Libyan terrorists in his brigade are by no means the only role LIFG is playing in the Syrian violence. LIFG commander Abdul Hakim Belhaj had visited the Turkish-Syrian border in late 2011 pledging Libyan arms, cash, and fighters to the FSA ~ with the nation of Libya itself having already become a NATO-created terrorist safe-haven.
It is clear that LIFG, and by implication Al Qaeda, is playing a significant role in the violence in Syria, not only undermining the narrative of the unrest being an "indigenous" "pro-democracy uprising," but also implicating foreign nations who are funding and arming militants as state sponsors of terrorism.
Included amongst these state sponsors of international terrorism are Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the Hariri faction in northern Lebanon, as well as the NATO-installed government of Libya. This also includes both the United States, who is admittedly providing cash and equipment for the FSA as well as coordinating efforts to arm militants, and now the UK once again with their latest announcement.
With an increasing number of overt atrocities being carried out by the FSA and its ranks of extremist sectarian militants, including kidnappings, abuses, and massacres observed recently in Aleppo, it is unconscionable for the West to even rhetorically back what is clearly a sectarian-driven conflict, let alone provide equipment, cash, and arms. However, British Foreign Secretary William Hague calls it, "the right thing to do."
It is unclear whether Hague means - violating the laws of his own nation to provide material support for known, proscribed terrorists is "the right thing to do" ~ or if he means it is "right" to perpetuate the bloodbath in Syria as prescribed by the US Fortune 500-funded think-tank, Brookings Institution in their "Middle East Memo #21," which suggested the West "pin down the Asad regime and bleed it, keeping a regional adversary weak, while avoiding the costs of direct intervention."
A similar scenario unfolded in Libya, where LIFG terrorists were likewise carrying out a campaign of nationwide genocide with NATO providing air support. Similarly, by funding, arming, and coordinating acts of violence with LIFG fighters, NATO, and in particular, France, England, and the United States, were guilty of violating both their own respective anti-terrorism legislation, as well as international provisions against terrorism.
The brazen illegitimacy of NATO's actions against Libya surely played a role in hobbling, perhaps permanently, the contrived geopolitical ploy of "Responsibility to Protect" (R2P) while simultaneously undermining the "primacy of international law."
The protracted difficulty of the West to repeat their success in Syria can be perhaps owed in part to the unhinged policy and agenda pursued and exposed in Libya.