Sputnik: What do you make of these reports about Daesh commanders being evacuated by US helicopters? How trustworthy did it sound to you?
Dr. Kevin Barrett: Well, unfortunately it's all too plausible. We have a lot of information going back to before the creation of Daesh, that this whole operation is in part sponsored by elements of the US and Western "deep state." We have the DIA — Defense Intelligence Agency — memo looking forward to the rise of a so-called Salafist principality in Iraq and Syria. That was before Daesh existed and then by magic it suddenly brought forth the realization of that prophecy from the DIA memo. We have reports that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a self-proclaimed caliph of Daesh, spent not just one year but close to five years in US custody essentially having the run of the camps such as Camp Bucca where he was housed and essentially creating Daesh there. Then we have all sorts of reports of Daesh being armed and funded by US-linked people, we have the oil pipeline going through a Kurdish territory to Turkey and to sell oil through Israel. So, really, Daesh is essentially a Western deep state operation and they are used in two ways: One, to justify Western intervention and, two, they can be deployed against the enemies de jure of the West and this is, of course, the government of [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad. So, there is no surprise here that these very valuable assets would be evacuated and sent to do more mischief somewhere else.
Sputnik: As we mentioned in the introduction the report of evacuation of Daesh commanders took place in Mayadin, the very town where a NATO-made weapons hideout was found last month. Does it prove that there are any ties, direct or indirect, between the Western coalition and Daesh?
Dr. Kevin Barrett: Well, yeah, the arms from the Western coalition keep ending up in the hands of Daesh. We have seen repeated reports of this nature showing that there is this kind of collusion, and of course it's all probably set up with plausible deniability and unfortunately the international bodies that should be investigating and exposing this are co-opted. We will probably never have this smoking gun proof that would force The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and those folks to admit that Daesh has been funded and run by US taxpayer money and deep state drug money, but those of us who could put two and two together and who are following this closely know that that is the case.
Sputnik: Would you agree with President Putin's statement that conflict zones could have become a profitable business for some people? What did he mean by this?
Dr. Kevin Barrett: Well, of course, if you want to find out who's behind any conflict you follow the money. So this is how it has always been, especially since the rise of commercial dominance in the last couple of centuries. So, yes, of course, conflict zones are incredibly profitable for what President [Dwight D.] Eisenhower famously called the military-industrial complex and now it's been so privatized that it's not just a question of military and allied companies looting taxpayers, but we also have this privatized spinoff of the military: We have the Blackwater (Xe Craft International), and the other kinds of corporations that have no direct responsibility, no accountability, they are totally non-transparent because they are private entities. And they, apparently, in some cases have interfaced with elements of organized crime wherever there is big money to be made; they are destabilizing a country to open it up to looting its resources, to dealing drugs, to human trafficking — there are immense lucrative opportunities in all of these unfortunate areas and that's why these conflicts had been created and sustained.