Blackwater Founder May Train Arab Forces To Dominate Syria

Blackwater founder Erik Prince says he has been informally contacted by Arab officials looking to marshal a multi-national force in Syria which would be able to fill any "security vacuum" left by a United States withdrawal - similar to the one which allowed ISIS to flourish when President Obama pulled US troops out of Iraq. 

The security force would have two goals: stop ISIS from reestablishing a presence in Syria, while also stopping Iran or Iranian-backed sources from doing the same (though Israel already has the latter pretty well under control).

The mission of the regional force would be to work with the local Kurdish and Arab fighters the U.S. has been supporting to ensure Islamic State cannot make a comeback and preclude Iranian-backed forces from moving into former Islamic State territory, U.S. officials say. -WSJ

Filling the void

As we reported yesterday, President Trump has already reached out to Egypt and the Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE, to contribute funds and manpower for the restoration of areas in Syria formerly held by the Islamic State. 

“We have asked our partners to take greater responsibility for securing their home region, including contributing larger amounts of money,” he said. “America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria,” Trump said last Friday. “It’s a troubled place. We will try to make it better. But it’s a troubled place.”

While Trump and his advisors say they want to withdraw the 2,000 or so US troops in Syria as soon as possible, according to the Wall Street Journal, Trump's new neocon National Security Advisor John Bolton has discussed the possibility of contributing troops with Egypt's top intelligence official - allegedly one of the most influential figures in Egypt's military-led regime.

Pentagon officials say that while ISIS has lost around 90% of their foothold in Syria, it still remains strong in pockets along the border with Iraq and others - home to an estimated 5,000 - 12,000 ISIS fighters. 

Thomas Joscelyn, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told VICE News that while it made sense for the U.S. to ask Arab partners to do more, "this nascent plan is likely to run into a number of problems." 

None of the proposed partners had taken the lead in fighting ISIS in Syria so far, with that role occupied by the Kurds — a group who Joscelyn noted "are not natural allies for any of the regional states mentioned." -VICE

Jocelyn notes that the Gulf states have provided support for Sunni extremist groups - making them an "unnatural fit" for the fight against ISIS. Meanwhile, while Egypt hasn't officially picked a side in the Syrian conflict, it has made occasional pro-Assad statements.

"Moreover, Egypt has its hands full battling an ISIS insurgency in the Sinai and hasn't played a leadership role in fighting ISIS outside of its own turf," said Joscelyn.

"In essence, the Trump administration wants to build a new anti-ISIS alliance in Syria that has not previously existed on the ground and which would bring with it all sorts of competing interests that don't necessarily align with America's."

An Arab coalition of Sunni-dominated governments exists to combat ISIS and other terrorist groups. The 41 member Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition was formed in December 2015, though it wouldn't hold its first meeting until nearly two years later. It's mandate is to fight terrorism in Shia-dominated Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan - along with Syria. In November 2017,  Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 31, announced that he would use the coalition to "wipe terrorists from earth." 

Speaking at a summit of defence ministers from across 41 majority-Muslim countries he spoke of a need for a “pan-Islamic united front” against terrorism.

He said: “In past years, terrorism has been functioning in all of our countries… with no coordination among national authorities.

That ends today, with this alliance.” -express.co.uk

The Muslim alliance and their first official meeting under bin Salman two days after Egypt's worst terrorism incident in which 25-30 attackers reportedly brandishing an Islamic State flag assaulted a mosque, killing 305 including 27 children. 

That said, the new plan (which may include Erik Prince) would combine manpower, military equipment and funding to focus specifically on Syria. 

Trump's tap dance

Trump first alluded to his push to recruit regional partners on Friday, as he was launching the missile strikes. Indeed, the plan to recruit regional partners came about following Trump's insistence that the US pull out as quickly as possible.

Mr. Trump, who has expressed growing impatience with the cost and duration of the effort to stabilize Syria, alluded to the push on Friday night, when he announced the missile strikes.

"We have asked our partners to take greater responsibility for securing their home region, including contributing larger amounts of money," Mr. Trump said.

In early April, Mr. Trump spoke about the need to speed the withdrawal of the 2,000 troops the U.S. has in Syria, a position at odds with many top advisers who worry that leaving the country too soon would cede ground to Iran, Russia, their proxies or other extremist groups. The new administration initiative is aimed at avoiding a security vacuum in Syria that would allow Islamic State to return or ceding hard-won gains to Iranian-backed forces in the country.

Now let's see if Trump can actually get this deal going and actually pull off a withdrawal from Syria - maybe even leaving it in the capable hands of a multi-national force from the Gulf states, trained by Erik Prince.

Comments

Canadian Dirtlump algol_dog Wed, 04/18/2018 - 18:08 Permalink

All this is, is a morphing of the plan. In the face of this, I'm glad that ships carrying military equipment were recently seen heading through the bosphorus for Syria. I think for a second that I'm cynical in saying these people will never give up, then BOOM, it is proven clear as a bell. These people will never give up.

In reply to by algol_dog

Brazen Heist JimmyJones Wed, 04/18/2018 - 19:08 Permalink

What they tried in Syria was the same strategy as Afghanistan with the USSR - support terrorists in the hope that it bleeds Russia dry. This time however, Putin didn't take the bait and the whole thing blew up in their faces. Now they are fighting for leftover scraps and it isn't looking too good for the cornered rats. The only thing they can now do is try to desperately cockblock Syrian oil development like fucking gypsy squatters around the Euphrates region but the Syrian high command has other ideas.

Even Jordan is getting sick of it. Terrorist pockets are falling like dominos in Syria, so the war is drawing down. They will still try to partition Syria politically and demographically esp in Kurdish lands where this "Arab force" is supposed to go. What I see happening is easy pickings with a nice little insurgency. And the Kurds will be royally screwed. An empire on the retreat opts for mercenary armies and tries to sow chaos in its wake, but Levantine people won't roll over.

In reply to by JimmyJones

Danedog Brazen Heist Wed, 04/18/2018 - 19:30 Permalink

In addition, the SAA is building a large force at Del Azor.  A new bridge built and waiting for the s-400 and the Pantir S1.  Then the Russians will set small chunks of a no fly zone as they regain the oil and gas fields which Syria needs to generate income.  The Kurds will get a better deal with the Russians than the head choppers from the Kingdom.

In reply to by Brazen Heist

Brazen Heist Danedog Wed, 04/18/2018 - 19:45 Permalink

The Kurds are really corrupt, a special kind of corrupt. They have no friends. But I bet they would be better off working with the Syrian government than being sandwiched between Saudis and Turks, because the Syrians will be rightfully coming for their oil fields.

This only confirms what morons the Gulf lackeys are to agree to such a deal. They will be fair game, and the Syrians and Iranians will have lots of scores to settle with them. It makes you wonder if Trump is doing this to deliberately wear down the Saudis.

Look at how pathetic some of these Gulf emirs are. Now imagine their armies!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRQ2GzxGMBQ

 

In reply to by Danedog

RationalLuddite Brazen Heist Wed, 04/18/2018 - 19:30 Permalink

I agree BrazenH. 

But i would like to additionally draw attention to the rather ominous historical analogy with the fall of Rome - they increasingly invited Barbarian mercenaries to do the empires fighting when the increasingly distracted and decadent natives became useless. But when their Barbarian Bros amassed on the frontier, they switched sides ...

See any similarities people?  Not a good strategy with Islam slowly encircling and infiltrating already 

In reply to by Brazen Heist

FBaggins RationalLuddite Wed, 04/18/2018 - 21:12 Permalink

Agree also with Brazen H, but one of the messages in this post is that the US is "withdrawing", and Trump's statement of a few weeks is echoed about other people to carry on with the work. The work, of course, is not getting rid of the terrorists because it was the axis which put them there in the first place for its widely publicised Syrian "regime-change" operation. Based on Prince's statements there appears to every intention of the Western Axis to carry on with the destruction of Syria, carve it up and divide the spoils. But the evidence is that Russia is not backing down, and the US and insurgents are being pushed out. The Axis is now desperate for some kind of bargaining power. One bargaining chip is the massive threat of US military intervention with half the US fleet on Syrin shores. Another chip is the strange public "announcement" by a public press conference that Blackwater mercs (terrorists) are going in, the message being "You better deal with what our Zio-Nazis owners and our oil companies want) or it will never end."  However, if they set foot in Syria the Russians and the Syrians are justified in ridding the world of all of them, and they surely will.  As a lasting deterrent for all the harm caused, all the Axis "leader" nations ought to pay massive reparations through the Zio nose, with no right to participate in the rebuilding, and all payments being made in Yuan or Rubbles.

 

In reply to by RationalLuddite

Petrodollar Sy… Brazen Heist Wed, 04/18/2018 - 20:31 Permalink

Israel and Turkey don't really care what you think. Israel has been doubling their efforts, and turkey already now sits on a good % of Syrian territory. Syria has been able to drive back rebels with the help of Russia and Iran, but turkey, Israel, US, France, UK, and Arab coalition...c'mon man you live in a fantasy world if you think that it's going to be easy to find them off. This is going to be a drawn out fight with no clear winner until the bombs really start to drop.

In reply to by Brazen Heist

attah-boy-Luther DownWithYogaPants Wed, 04/18/2018 - 19:12 Permalink

ussa troops out mercenaries in?????

Well sheeee-ite.......Vlad looks like you gots a season ticket to clean up the place w/o WWIII since the red shoe troops will be gone and mercenaries are there for free shit..

soon as Ahab Moostahfah gets his chit blown away they'll go all French and drop the shiny new toys and run....

In reply to by DownWithYogaPants

whatsupdoc evoila Wed, 04/18/2018 - 18:51 Permalink

I think theories are just that - theories.

The disinformation that the West has been able to spew in the past is different now.

In the short-term, simply put a few missiles into Saudi Arabia to stop the flow of oil.  The problems will melt away along with the Saudi royal family in a break-up of the Kingdom.  The West would have some problems living without Saudi oil for a time but I guess some people couldn't care less...

 

In reply to by evoila

JimmyJones whatsupdoc Wed, 04/18/2018 - 18:56 Permalink

That's really the key but who wants to sacrifice themselves to do it. Shut down the Straight and the who system goes belly up but before that happens any country that did it get utterly destroyed. Reminds me of the last episode of Rubicon, awesome show that "they" cancelled. Good luck finding a copy of it for sale as well. Amazon says they gave it but when you go to buy it, it's magically unavailable. Go ahead try.

In reply to by whatsupdoc