03:16 GMT +322 February 2019
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    Daesh  terrorists pass by a convoy in Tel Abyad, northeast Syria (File)

    US-Daesh Cooperation "Confirms Syrian 'Civil' War is a US-Backed Proxy Conflict"

    © AP Photo / Militant website
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    Moscow and Damascus have stepped up pressure against the US, urging Washington to explain its "selective blindness" toward Islamists operating near US forces in Syria, and accusing the Pentagon of supplying terrorists with arms. Speaking to Sputnik, Canadian historian Michael Carley said that Russia and Syria's concerns don't surprise him one bit.

    On Wednesday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov asked Washington to explain why it was providing aid to al-Nusra Front-affiliated militants in the southern de-escalation zone.

    The same day, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem accused the US-led coalition of destroying everything in Syria apart from the terrorists themselves. Muallem's remarks echoed similar comments made by the Russian Defense Ministry earlier. At his October 10 press briefing, Konashenkov complained that US assistance for terrorists coming into Syria from Iraq "raises serious questions" about the US-led anti-Daesh coalition's real objectives.

    Asked to comment on the situation, University of Montreal history professor Michael Carley told Radio Sputnik that there was "absolutely nothing new" in the concerns brought up by Konashenkov. 

    "This [US] involvement with ISIS [Daesh/ISIL] and various other Islamist terrorist groups in Syria has been going on for a long time," the observer said. For instance, one can recall "the reports from a couple years ago – that after the destruction of Libya, the CIA aided Islamic terrorists from that country and transported them to Syria along with various Libyan arms to get the war started in Syria."

    "Another example from several years ago: when Palmyra was attacked and taken the first time by ISIS, it took them three days to cross the deserts; the Americans knew about it and let them [carry on]."

    Phony War

    According to Carley, there is every reason to suspect that the US anti-Daesh campaign is a phony war. "They pretend to fight [Daesh]. They like to bomb desert, blow up sand; they pretend they're fighting IS, but often turn a blind eye to them. The only people that don't seem to know anything about what's going on between the US, ISIS, Nusra, al-Qaeda and so on are the American public."

    Asked about the possible motives Washington may have behind this apparent drive to keep these terrorist groups going, Carley said that there are two primary reasons:

    "The United States government has two objectives. One is to wreak havoc in Syria. Everyone knows that the US objective is to get rid of Bashar al-Assad and partition Syria. The other primary objective is to get Russia. Neocons in Washington are absolutely furious with Russia for having queered their pitch in Syria, and for preventing US intervention from succeeding in overthrowing Assad."

    On Monday, the Syrian Defense Ministry provided video evidence of arms confiscated from terrorist groups confirming that most of the weapons were manufactured by the US or its allies. 

    Russian Su-34 fighter-bomber aircraft carries out a strike against Daesh forces in Syria.
    © Photo : Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation
    Asked to comment on that development, Carley emphasized that of course "it's not a secret. These arms come from all over the place…The Americans, the Saudis, the Qataris until recently paid for the armaments, they were shipped from various places to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and they ran them with trucks into Syria. It's been going on for years; there's absolutely nothing new here to talk about."

    Syrian War 'Not a Civil War'

    Speaking about the strife that the Syria endured over the last half-decade or so, the academic said that it was important to emphasize that this is not a civil war, as it has often been characterized, but a "proxy war, waged by the United States and its allies."

    From the beginning, he said, large numbers of non-Syrian foreigners have been engaged in a fight against the Syrian government. These foreigners have arrived in the country through Jordan, Turkey and Iraq "to fight as mercenaries paid by the Saudis, Qataris or the Americans to fight the Syrian government…There were obviously domestic problems inside Syria, but there would never have been a proxy war against Syria if the United States hadn't decided to wage it," Carley insisted.

    Unfortunately, the analyst believes that even if Damascus and Baghdad do manage to thoroughly defeat Daesh, "there's still the problem of the Kurds, and the Americans are thoroughly backing the Kurds. The Israelis are backing them too. The idea is to mess up the Middle East, to weaken any sort of resistance to American and Israeli domination of the region."

    expert commentary, expert analysis, Daesh, Al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda, Syria, United States, Russia
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