Shadowy fighters with strange notions of moderatism, their image sticks in the middle between the U.S. and Al Qaeda, playing the silent brokers and shielding U.S./AQ relations from the eyes of the international world. They call themselves the "Free Syrian Army" or FSA. That organizational title has lately gotten a bit lengthier - "Supreme Military Council of Free Syrian Army." That's as far as it can go to smarten its facade. Also often called the "Syrian opposition," FSA is by no means a consolidated fighting group. Some observers may see it as the military wing of the Syrian National Council (or SNC, a notorious and unashamed Western lackey), these ragtag militias are just as divided as the members of the SNC with little or no consensus in any of their strategies.
U.S. and EU knew from the start that it was impossible to prevent weapons from falling into the hands of Al Qaeda via FSA. To simplify matters, they chose to have both Al Qaeda and FSA as their allies. John McCain's illegal entry into Syria from Turkey on May 2013 for a meeting with then FSA commander, Saleem Idris and Al Qaeda's Abu Bakr Baghdadi (then known by his birth name, Ibrahim al-Badri) was a stark evidence of this ruinous nature of U.S. diplomacy. So, what precisely is the difference between Al Qaeda and ISIL? We'll discuss that briefly in a while.
Al-Nusra Front, which got along fine with the Americans, soon rose into prominence in Syria after the spring of 2011 and the nozy CIA proved its incompetence again by its inability to read the possibility that Al-Nusra could be threatened by its rival, ISIL, both of whom were formerly Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).
Political solidarity and establishment of an efficacious system are unknown factors to "moderates." Neither do they care to be called "moderates." They take weapons and money from foreign powers and pass them on to ISIL. They see themselves having similar goals as ISIL and are also aware that without a permanent strategy of cooperation with ISIL, they will not be able to achieve those goals. But the foreign powers prefer not to admit such a reality for FSA ("moderates") are their only hope and conduit for waging this proxy war across parts of Syria still under Assad's control without letting the world know of the dependence of Western leaders on the destructive and murderous capabilities of ISIL for terrorizing sovereign states and their people.
Soon after the preemptive Iraqi invasion on the orders of GWB (a close friend of the bin Laden family), ISIL used to be a splinter branch of Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda, known as Al Qaeda of Iraq or AQI. After the Syrian war began, job opportunities for AQI terrorists in Iraq expanded. They began pouring into Syria via Iraq and Turkey with plenty of money, weapons, drugs and blessings from the oil-rich gulf leaders and their Western masters. These AQI terrorists in Syria named their group Al-Nusra Front, a sort of formal declaration that they were no more under obligation to take orders from the bigwigs of AQI, Abu Bakr Baghdadi being one of them. Soon after, many more AQI terrorists jumped on to Syria for 'better prospects,' and to compete with Al-Nusra. Abu Bakr Baghdadi announced AQI was replaced with ISIL, and Al-Nusra must merge with ISIL. Chief of Al-Nusra Front, Al-Julani, rejected Baghdadi's call.
From January 2014 major battlefield confrontations erupted between ISIL and other terror groups on Syrian soil. After the occupation of portions of Syria and Iraq by ISIL in the summer of 2014, what the CIA failed to read earlier came true. For several months the terrorist infighting was so predominant that Assad was pretty much forgotten. Eventually, ISIL rose to be victorious, grabbing weapons, money and territories from its terrorist counterparts. With mass defections of Al-Nusra and FSA fighters to ISIL, America's dream rebel army (FSA) intended to defeat Assad fell below their former category of a bunch of ragtag militants with neither the expertise nor the spirit to fight as "rebels." Some have reportedly quit the idea of serving as "opposition" and joined government forces fighting the terrorists.
Lebanon began arresting suspected FSA members from mid 2014 for the safety Lebanese citizens.
Mintpress News writes "Though warnings have been many, funding to Syria has nevertheless increased steadily. In June 2012, the U.S. State Department reportedly allocated $15 million in “non-lethal aid” for civilian opposition groups in Syria, alongside distribution of military equipment, including assault rifles, anti-tank rocket launchers and other ammunition." From the spring of 2011, there have been scores of such allocations amounting to billions of dollars by 2014. That would give anyone an idea of the big bundles of money and guns ISIL has amassed from the generosity of the United States of America. No wonder they were able to occupy large territories within Syria and Iraq by June 2014 with perfect ease.
As Syria's co-called moderates roll into the arms of Al-Qaeda .... Al-Qaeda morphs into ISIL. So, is the American fantasy of "moderates" getting increasingly dangerous or is the concept of Americans ostracizing ISIL (former Al Qaeda) itself a fantasy? Not a difficult question to answer. Information from all sources confirm that by November 2014, almost all factions and dissenting groups under the umbrella of "moderates of the Free Syrian Army" surrendered their arms to ISIL.
ISIL is no longer identified with Al Qaeda. It's the other way round. Al Qaeda is now ISIL. After Osama bin Laden's second death in 2011, Ayman Al Zawahri was overjoyed thinking he got his dream job of Al Qaeda's No.1. He forgot that power grabbing, money deals and infighting have long been second nature to members of his own cult. Aging, retired and officially in hiding, Al Zawahri was in no position to travel to Turkey, Syria and Iraq to negotiate deals and command the ever-growing number of sub-groups of the main organization. His former disciples like Abu Bakr Baghdadi and several others didn't need their old mentors no more. They have taken over Al Qaeda and changed its name of ISIL and America's "moderates" are diehard loyalists of ISIL. If you read of U.S. and European governments trying to dislodge the "dictator in Syria" by helping the "moderate rebels," that eyewash only means allocating many more millions to ISIL, the former Al Qaeda.
Writes Thierry Meyssan in his work 'John McCain and the Caliph' : "I have always said that there is no difference on the ground between the Free Syrian Army, Al-Nosra Front, and ISIS etc. All these organizations are composed of the same individuals who continuously change flag. When they pose as the Free Syrian Army, they fly the flag of French colonization and speak only of overthrowing the “dog Bashar.” When they say they belong to Al-Nosra Front, they carry the flag of al Qaeda and declare their intention to spread Islam in the world. Finally when they say they are ISIS, they brandish the flag of the Caliphate and announce that they will clean the area of all infidels. But whatever the label, they proceed to the same abuses: rape, torture, beheadings, crucifixions."