It was Robert Ford, then US Ambassador to Syria and a chief architect of regime change in Syria, who collaborated closely with the so-called "moderate rebels," Daniel McAdams, Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, underscores.
"Ambassador Ford talked himself blue in the face reassuring us that he was only supporting moderates in Syria," McAdams recalls in his recent article for the Institute.
However, "as evidence mounted that the recipients of the largesse doled out by Washington was going to jihadist groups, Ford finally admitted early last year that most of the moderates he backed were fighting alongside ISIS [Daesh] and al-Qaeda," the analyst points out.
Furthermore, on February 18, the McClatchyDC.com news outlet cited Ford admitting that his much-talked-about "moderates" regularly collaborated with Daesh (Islamic State/ISIL) and al-Qaeda.
"Ford has accused the rebels of collaborating with the Nusra Front, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria… He says opposition infighting has worsened and he laments the fact that extremist groups now rule in most territories outside the Syrian regime's control," the media source reported.
But were really any "moderates" among jihadists at the very beginning of the Syrian "revolt"?
According to a 2012 de-classified Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document, the Obama administration was informed that "the Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood and AQI (al-Qaeda in Iraq)" were "the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria."
"I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision," Flynn said.
"So those who pointed out that the rebellion in Syria was foreign-driven and jihadist from the start were no longer crazy conspiracy theorists, but were rather conspiracy factists," McAdams emphasizes.
However, it did not prevent Ford from supporting Islamists: in an interview with the BBC last October the former Ambassador insisted that al-Qaeda's branch Ahrar al-Sham was by no means a jihadi group, defining it as "moderate."
"…a moderate is a group that accepts there has to be a political negotiation and there has to be a political process after a transition government is set up… a political process to determine the future permanent government of Syria," Ford explained, deliberately downplaying the fact that Ahrar al-Sham promotes the creation of an Islamic caliphate governed in accordance with Sharia law.
"Is it any surprise that Syria is in the current disastrous state, where hundreds of thousands have died in a war instigated by those who knew from the beginning would only benefit radical Islamist extremists?" McAdams asks.