Crisis, What Crisis?—The al-Qaeda Takeover of Syria

written by neil clark - monday april 27, 2015

This weekend it was reported that al-Qaeda affiliated rebels were “almost completely in control” of the last major government held city in the Idlib province in northern Syria.

This is really big news as it means that the Syrian government’s coastal heartlands including the important port of Latakia, a Baathist stronghold are under direct threat. It’s a major advance for the cause of al-Qaeda, yet what is most revealing is the lack of reaction or any concern from Western leaders.

You‘d think that Western leaders would be alarmed at the al-Qaeda advances given how much they warn us of the “threat” from radical Islamists and how many Western troops were lost in the “war on terror” in Afghanistan.

In fact, the lack of concern regarding the militants’ gains in Syria exposes the fundamental deceit at the heart of Western foreign policy. The elites claim to be fighting radical Islamists, yet in Syria they’re doing everything they possibly can to ensure that the side that’s fighting radical Islamists, the secular Syrian government, is weakened and eventually defeated.

Last month, Syria’s President Assad drew attention to the West’s phony war against ISIS. He noted that there were only about 10 raids a day from the coalition of “rich and advanced” countries against the Islamic State. “The Syrian air force, which is very small in comparison with this coalition, conducts in a single day, many times the number of air strikes conducted by a coalition which includes sixty countries. This doesn‘t make sense. This shows the lack of seriousness…there is no serious effort to defeat terrorism,” Assad said.

Far from trying to defeat terrorism — the West and its regional allies have been supporting it.

Israel, the country which we’re repeatedly told by its cheerleaders in the West is in the “front line” of the “war on terror,” has been acting as al-Qaeda’s de facto ally in Syria. It’s made at least ten bombing raids on the country since 2012 — but tellingly, not a single one up to now has been directed at the radical Islamists fighting Assad‘s forces. All have been on Syrian government/army targets or on groups fighting with the Syrian army against the terrorists — such as January‘s attack, which killed a senior Iranian general and six Hezbollah fighters. (Today, news broke that another Israeli air strike had killed “four militants” on the Israel/Syria border, but we don’t know which groups the "militants" belong to.)

In March, it was reported that Israel had opened its borders with Syria to provide medical treatment to wounded al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front soldiers and after treating them, released them straight back over the Syrian border to continue their fight against a secular government which protects Christians and other religious minorities.

The help that the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) has given to Syrian rebels at the Golan Heights has been documented in a series of UN reports.

Israel clearly doesn’t want its activities in Syria to be subject to too much scrutiny.