Syria may be old news as any escalation has been put on hold at least until next summer, but the hilarity resulting from the bungled US foreign policy intervention in the country lingers. The latest chapter in John Kerry's book of "Diplomacy for Idiots" is the case of General Salim Adris, a so-called moderate the top Western-backed commander of the Free Syrian Army, who was literally run out of the country by the more extremist, Al Qaeda based factions among the Syrian CIA armed and Qatar funded "rebel" forces.
As the WSJ eloquently puts it, "Islamist fighters ran the top Western-backed rebel commander in Syria out of his headquarters, and he fled the country, U.S. officials said Wednesday." Any references to brave Sir Robin are purely accidental. It got better when the same Al Qaeda fighters "took over key warehouses holding U.S. military gear for moderate fighters in northern Syria over the weekend." In other words, as we repeatedly forecast over the summer, the US is now once again arming Al Qaeda fighters with weapons that sooner or later will be used against the US, at a time of the CIA's choosing.
As for the details of "patriotic" Gen. Idris' humiliating departure from Syria, and the even more humiliating raid of US military gear, we read on from the WSJ:
Gen. Idris flew to the Qatari capital of Doha on Sunday after fleeing to Turkey, U.S. officials said Wednesday. "He fled as a result of the Islamic Front taking over his headquarters," a senior U.S. official said.
An Islamic Front spokesman also said Gen. Idris had fled to Turkey.
The Front took over the warehouses and offices controlled by the Supreme Military Council, the moderate opposition umbrella group that includes the FSA and coordinates U.S. aid distribution, officials said. They also seized the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey, near the warehouses in the town of Atmeh.
Another bang up job by the State Department:
The growing strength of the Islamic Front prompted the U.S. and its allies to recently hold direct talks with Islamic Front representatives. The goal, according to Western officials, was to persuade some Islamists to support a Syria peace conference set for Geneva on Jan. 22 for fear that a lasting accord won't be possible without their backing. The SMC already agreed to participate in the peace talks.
A quick primer on how brave the US "loyalists" in Syria are to both the cause, and to US equipment:
U.S. officials say there was no battle for control of the facilities between the SMC and the Islamic Front. One senior U.S. official said the takeover amounted to "an internal coup." But other U.S. officials disputed that characterization.
U.S. officials said the Islamic Front offered to help protect the headquarters and two warehouse facilities from harder line groups. Then, when the Islamic Front came in and helped secure the sites, "they asserted themselves and said: 'All right, we're taking over,' " a senior U.S. official said.
In other words, one rebel faction essentially handed over US weapons to another rebel faction. Just add spin. Not surprisingly, the CIA had no comment:
The Central Intelligence Agency has been providing small amounts of arms to handpicked moderate rebels. A CIA spokesperson declined to comment on whether American weapons were in the warehouses that were seized by the Islamic Front. Gen. Idris also receives weapons from other countries, including Saudi Arabia.
The warehouses also housed nonlethal military gear, including American-supplied trucks and communications equipment.
Bottom line: the US, which nearly launched World War III over a few fabricated Youtube clips in order to help Qatar build a natgas pipeline to Europe support the much lauded freedom fighters, has just cut off aid to the very same group:
The U.S. decision to suspend the delivery of nonlethal aid to rebels in northern Syria is another blow to American efforts to strengthen and unify insurgents fighting Bashar al-Assad, analysts say.
The State Department said Wednesday it made the decision after Islamist groups within the opposition captured a warehouse and headquarters of the mainstream opposition alliance backed United States.
The decision reflects the challenge the United States has in supporting a fractured opposition where extremist groups are gaining an edge over moderates.
"There is simply no way to separate the two," said Michael Rubin, an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute.
Somewhere Putin is laughing his ass off.