A Brief History Of US Covert Action In Syria - Part 1

In part 1 of this corrective history of the Syrian proxy war which notable Middle East experts have lately urged is important and essential reading, William Van Wagenen thoroughly dismantles the dominant media myths that have persisted throughout seven years of conflict. 

Part I: The Myth of US 'Inaction' in Syria, by William Van Wagenen via The Libertarian Institute

When the Russian military intervened in the Syrian war in October 2015, many in the Western press complained bitterly, demanding that US planners intervene directly in Syria on behalf of the anti-government rebels in response. Reuters alleged that “The Middle East is angry and bewildered by US inaction in Syria,” arguing that “The question on everyone’s mind is: will the United States and its European and regional Sunni allies intervene to stop President Vladimir Putin from reversing the gains made by mainstream Syrian rebels after more than four years of war? Few are holding their breath.” 

The Washington Post similarly argued that Russian president Vladimir Putin was “exploiting America’s inaction,” while the Guardian lamented the “western inability to care enough about the plight of Syrians.” As Russian and Syrian forces battled rebels one year later in Aleppo, more dramatic accusations of US inaction emerged, with Foreign Policy describing US policy in Syria under Obama as “inaction in the face of genocide.”

The idea that the United States has not intervened in Syria and is guilty of “inaction,” is a myth however. The United States and its Western and Gulf Allies have intervened in the Syrian conflict from early on. US planners have been fighting what the New York Times described as a “$1 Billion Secret C.I.A. War in Syria” while providing weapons to rebels through a program considered “one of the costliest covert action programs in the history of the C.I.A.” Starting in the fall of 2012, the US and its Gulf partners, under the direction of then CIA director David Petraeus, were openly sending “a cataract of weaponry” into Syria. It is likely that such shipments began much earlier without public acknowledgment, via the “rat line” from Libya, as reported by journalist Seymour Hersh. 

US Special Envoy to Syria Michael Ratner, in a meeting with members of the Syrian opposition, explained that “The armed groups in Syria get a lot of support, not just from the United States but from other partners,” while Secretary of State John Kerry added in the same meeting, “I think we’ve been putting an extraordinary amount of arms in,” and “Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, a huge amount of weapons [are] coming in. A huge amount of money.”

Sectarian Mass Murder

Also a myth is the idea that any US intervention in Syria would seek to protect civilians. While allegations that Syrian and Russian forces were committing genocide in Aleppo proved baseless, US planners have themselves supported rebels intent on committing genocide and sectarian mass murder. This was clearly evident in the Syrian city of Latakia, which by the time of the Russian intervention in October 2015 was on the verge of falling to a coalition of Syrian rebel groups including al-Qaeda (known in Syria as the Nusra Front) and the US-armed and funded Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Robert Worth of the New York Times writes that “In Latakia, some people told me that their city might have been destroyed if not for the Russians. The city has long been one of Syria’s safe zones, well defended by the army and its militias; there are tent cities full of people who have fled other parts of the country, including thousands from Aleppo. But in the summer of 2015, the rebels were closing in on the Latakia city limits, and mortars were falling downtown. If the rebels had captured the area — where Alawites are the majority — a result would almost certainly have been sectarian mass murder. Many people in the region would have blamed the United States, which armed some of the rebels operating in the area. . . Andrew Exum, who worked in the Pentagon at the time, told me that the military drew up contingency plans for a rapid collapse of the regime. The planning sessions were talked about as ‘catastrophic success [emphasis mine].’”

Alawite civilians in Latakia faced the prospect of being massacred if rebels had been able to capture the city, due to the virulently anti-Alawite views of Nusra Front members. Nusra religious clerics draw on the writings of the fringe 14th century Islamic scholar Ibn Taymiyya to argue that Alawites are “infidels” deserving of death. Syria analyst Sam Heller described Nusra clerics as promoting “toxic — even genocidal — sectarianism.” Rebels from the FSA, which have fought alongside and “in the ranks” of the Nusra Front throughout the conflict, also posed a threat to Alawite civilians in Latakia. 

Though typically considered moderate in the Western press, many FSA battalions have been armed and funded by the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (MB). Thanks to the influence of Brotherhood ideologue Said Hawwa, the Syrian Brotherhood strongly promoted the anti-Alawite sectarian views of Ibn Taymiyya from the 1960’s until the 1980’s. This anti-Alawite sectarianism re-emerged in segments of the Syrian opposition, including in elements of the FSA, when peaceful protests and armed insurrection against the Syrian government simultaneously erupted in Syria in the spring of 2011.

While the Syrian and Russian militaries managed to protect Latakia and prevent a massacre of the city’s Alawite civilians, the broader effort to prevent the fall of the country to al-Qaeda and its FSA allies exacted a huge toll on Syria’s Alawites. The Telegraph noted that already by April 2015, “The scale of the sect’s losses is staggering” and that of some 250,000 Alawite men of fighting age “as many as one third are dead” and that “Alawite villages nestled in the hills of their ancestral Latakia province are all but devoid of young men. The women dress only in mourning black.”

Welcoming ISIS as a Bulwark against Assad

While arming rebels threatening the massacre of Alawite civilians in Latakia, US planners were at the same time welcoming the potential massacre of Syrian civilians in Damascus. The Syrian capital was on the verge of falling to the Islamic State (ISIS) in the summer of 2015 after ISIS, with the help of Nusra, captured all of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in the southern Damascus suburbs. The New York Times acknowledged the ISIS threat to Damascus at this time, observing that “By seizing much of the camp” ISIS had “made its greatest inroads yet into Damascus,” while the Washington Post noted that “Their new push puts [ISIS] within five miles of the heart of the capital . . . even as they are on the retreat in Iraq.”

In a private meeting with members of the Syrian opposition, Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged that US planners had actually welcomed the ISIS advance on Damascus, in an effort to use it as leverage to force Assad to give up power. Kerry explained that, “the reason Russia came in is because ISIL [ISIS] was getting stronger. Daesh [ISIS] was threatening the possibility of going to Damascus. And that is why Russia came in. They didn’t want a Daesh [ISIS] government and they supported Assad. And we know this was growing. We were watching. We saw that Daesh [ISIS]was growing in strength. And we thought Assad was threatened. We thought we could manage that Assad might then negotiate. Instead of negotiating, he got Putin to support him [emphasis mine].”

Because the US was bombing ISIS in defense of its Kurdish allies in Northeastern Syria and its Iraqi government allies in Northwestern Iraq, the fact that US planners at the same time welcomed the ISIS push on Damascus against the Syrian government was largely obscured.

Had Damascus fallen to ISIS, it is clear that many civilians in the city, including Christians, Alawites, Shiites, members of the LGBTQ community, and pro-government Sunnis, would have been killed. While commenting on the Russian intervention, Michael Kofman of the Wilson Center acknowledged that “Assad may be irredeemable in the eyes of the United States, but it is equally clear that a high human price would be paid when the Islamic State [ISIS] or al-Nusra seizes the major population centers in Syria that he still controls.”

Suicide Bombers and US Anti-tank Missiles

It is also clear that US planners were deliberately supporting al-Qaeda (Nusra), despite its genocidal intentions towards Syria’s Alawites, by flooding Syria with weapons. Because FSA brigades that received funding and weapons from the US and its Gulf Allies were fighting side by side with militants from Nusra throughout the country, in practice much of the money and weapons sent to the FSA ultimately benefited al-Qaeda.

For example, US-made TOW anti-tank missiles sent by US planners to FSA groups in Idlib played a crucial role in helping Nusra conquer the entire province in the spring of 2015. Syria analyst Hassan Hassan observed in Foreign Policy during this period that “The Syrian rebels are on a roll” and that “The recent offensives in Idlib have been strikingly swift — thanks in large part to suicide bombers and American anti-tank TOW missiles,” which the FSA and Nusra deployed in tandem. Syria analyst Charles Lister, also writing in Foreign Policydescribed how US planners explicitly encouraged the FSA groups they were arming to fight alongside Nusra in Idlib. Rebel victories in Idlib, in particular the town of Jisr al-Shughour, allowed Nusra and the FSA to then threaten the massacre of Alawites in Latakia.

When Russia intervened militarily in Syria in October 2015, US planners responded by immediately increasing shipments of TOW anti-tank missiles to FSA groups, some of which then helped Nusra capture the strategic town of Murek in central Syria one month later in November 2015.

This prompted Daveed Gartenstein-Ross of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) to observe that “it is impossible to argue that U.S. officials involved in the CIA’s program cannot discern that Nusra and other extremists have benefited” from CIA weapons shipments to Syrian rebels, “And despite this, the CIA decided to drastically increase lethal support to vetted rebel factions following the Russian intervention into Syria in late September.”

"Deal with the Devil"

Nusra did not only benefit from fighting alongside FSA rebels armed with US-supplied weapons, but acquired many of these weapons themselves. That Nusra regularly purchased weapons from the Western-backed military councils supplying the FSA was confirmed in October 2014, when the New York Times reported that Shafi al-Ajmi, a Nusra fundraiser, told a Saudi news channel that “When the military councils sell the weapons they receive, guess who buys them? It’s me.”

That al-Qaeda was purchasing US supplied weapons seemed of little concern to US planners. When journalist Sharmine Narwani asked why US-supplied weapons allegedly meant for FSA groups were showing up in Nusra hands, CENTCOM spokesman Lieutenant Commander Kyle Raines responded: “We don’t ‘command and control’ these forces—we only ‘train and enable’ them. Who they say they’re allying with, that’s their business.”

Obama administration officials themselves acknowledged tacit US support for al-Qaedaadmitting in November 2016 to the Washington Post that they had struck “a deal with the devil,” years before, “whereby the United States largely held its fire against al-Nusra because the group was popular with Syrians in rebel-controlled areas and furthered the U.S. goal of putting military pressure on Assad,” thereby confirming long standing Russian accusations that the US had been “sheltering al-Nusra.”

Ben Rhodes' Bombshell Confirmation

More recently, Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor under the Obama administration, acknowledged providing military support to Syrian rebels, even though it was clear that Nusra comprised a good portion of the Syrian opposition as a whole. Rhodes explained that “there was a slight absurdity in the fact that we were debating options to provide military support to the opposition at the same time that we were deciding to designate al-Nusra, a big chunk of that opposition, as a terrorist organization.”

Despite designating Nusra as a terror group already in 2012, US planners nevertheless provided weapons to the Syrian rebels, of which Nusra comprised a “big chunk,” for the next 7 years. As Sharmine Narwani observes, “U.S. arms have been seen in Nusra’s possession for many years now, including highly valued TOW missiles, which were game-changing weapons in the Syrian military theater. When American weapons end up in al-Qaeda hands during the first or second year of a conflict, one assumes simple errors in judgment. When the problem persists after seven years, however, it starts to look like there’s a policy in place to look the other way.”

US planners welcomed rebel gains in Syria, including by rebel groups advocating genocide against Syria’s Alawite population, such as ISIS and Nusra, because these gains bolstered the broader US goal of toppling the Syrian governmentin an effort to weaken its close allies, Iran and Hezbollah. US planners wished to see rebel gains in Syria, in spite of the obviously catastrophic consequences for Syrian civilians, including for Syria’s Sunnis, which rebel success would bring. US support for the rebels belies the myth of US “inaction” in Syria, and the myth that any US intervention would be for the sake of preventing massacres and even genocide, rather than in support of it.

* * *

In parts 2 and 3, we will review US support for rebel advances in the spring and summer of 2015 in Idlib, Latakia, Palmyra, Yarmouk, and Homs, and further describe how these rebel advances nearly led to the massacre of Syrian civilians in two of the country’s main population centers, Latakia and Damascus, if not for the Russian intervention which halted the rebel advance.


MoreSun TBT or not TBT Mon, 07/16/2018 - 01:06 Permalink

The whole Syrian mess is a game played for the greater israel scheme that has been pushed by all jew supremacists of the world. Every action in the middle-east is for the greater israel project and the once proud Republic of the U.S. is just a whore for so-called israel. 

We had hoped that Patrick Little had garnered more votes, but was pleased that 56,000 in an only 3 week exposure time voted for him.

We are making progress and the movement is gaining momentum daily.

"I’ve been meaning to write to congratulate THE BARNES REVIEW for moving the Holocaust revisionism football a little farther down the field with the the publication of Stephen Mitford Goodson’s article “ British Diplomats & The Holocaust.” which was a departure from the usual forensics and technical based revisionism exemplified by the contents of the subsequent issue of THE BARNES REVIEW devoted to The Chemistry of Auschwitz in that it introduced Andy Ritchie’s primary research in the British National Archives on the intelligence services (“Deep State”) origins of the narrative. https://aryanskynet.wordpress.com/2017/03/25/death-mills-and-rumor-mills-or-british-intelligence-passes-gas/

I’ve been waiting for years for a book or essay like Stephen Goodson’s from revisionists who understand the importance of the Allied armies’ psychological warfare departments and the intelligence services in manufacturing and promoting the myth of WWII Nazi homicidal gas chambers.

Castle Hill’s Holocaust Handbooks Series does not include any handbooks about Fort Ritchie, Maryland or it’s Camp Sharpe Annex in Gettysburg where approximately 9,000 US multi-lingual soldiers were trained in psychological warfare techniques and sent into occupied Germany to take over and control film, print media, culture and education under the direction of the founding members of the Judeo-Marxist Frankfurt School who were welcomed and precision placed in the OSS and by General William “Wild Bill” Donovan.

This is the same Frankfurt School of Social Research whose theoretical cultural Marxism (“Critical Theory ”) was embraced by academia and resulted in the turbulence on college campuses and in the streets across America and Europe in the l960s.

Stephen Goodson is to be commended again for his article “Germany’s Constitution: Why it’s a Total failure,” which examines the Allies’ continuing post-war control over German culture.

Every once in a while I run across a BARNES REVIEW article that mentions C. D. Jackson, but only in passing. Jackson deserves a whole issue in that he orchestrated psyops at the Buchenwald and Ordruf concentration camps during their liberation, founded the CIA and the Bilderberg group and helped change the 2,000 year old dogma of the Catholic Church in Rome in l965 at Vatican II. He was America’s foremost expert on psychological warfare yet no biography, or decent purview of his career before, during and after WWII exists."

Watch out, now here comes the fairy tales of "but my aunt & uncle" stories from the jew supremacist chorus, funny how they all survived to tell their fairy tales and collect their holohoax stipeneds. 

In reply to by TBT or not TBT

MoreSun IntercoursetheEU Mon, 07/16/2018 - 01:25 Permalink

you still buy the oil & gas hokum ? This game is being played for much, much more than some oil and gas- it's the greater israel project that drives the whole thing and there are huge world jew supremacist interests involved that will take the oil and gas with it, but the main driver is so-called israel and its so-called america whore.

Remove all jew supremacists from all positions of power throughout the world-Now!

In reply to by IntercoursetheEU

COSMOS MoreSun Mon, 07/16/2018 - 01:28 Permalink

Yeah the fake nazis are adnauseum.  Like those jewish dudes that burn down their own synagogues and blame it on the right.

Oy vey.   But on another note these special ops are just meant to pad someone's wallets.  Some dudes get extra stripes and bonuses regardless of the outcome.  I am sure some folks in Israel got a chunk of the ops budget for this one.

In reply to by MoreSun

LaugherNYC powow Mon, 07/16/2018 - 01:43 Permalink

I love this kind of “reportage”

If not for those kindly Russians, their no doubt would have been slaughter. Oh the US is backing the bad guys. Oh the US is arming all the meanies.

Thanks be to God that Vlad the humanitarian gives massive numbers of weapons, advanced armor and AA, and legions of “mercenaries” to protect the good Syrians by killing all the bad Syrians! The munificent man of peace!

The Russian screams in pain and cries “genocide” as he lines up the defenseless and machine guns them into mass graves. He cries out “terrorists!” As he drops barrel bombs and chemical weapons on those who stir fight, to terrorize them into surrender. He cries “false flag” at every turn.

ZH now has gone full russiantard.

In reply to by powow

OverTheHedge LaugherNYC Mon, 07/16/2018 - 02:27 Permalink


Oh - it's you. I was going to make an attempt to explain how your comment seems to be completely detached from reality, but then I saw your name alongside, so I won't bother. Good luck getting people to believe your nonsense.  Normally I would recommend pharmaceutical assistance for someone with your condition, but in your case, perhaps easing off the meds may be beneficial.

In reply to by LaugherNYC

Zorba's idea powow Mon, 07/16/2018 - 01:43 Permalink

Pardon the interruption Pow, The US Federal Reserve/Bank Cartel are desperately trying to keep the velocity of its "Petro-Dollar" spinning. You really think their relentless quest for a pipeline for the Saudis is just a "pipe dream". Its really an all out fight for the survival of our stinking denigrated currency. As far as they're concerned, that's all the viable they need.

In reply to by powow

rockface powow Sun, 07/22/2018 - 04:05 Permalink

Obama had viable interest though in Syria and Egypt and Libya.  Obama set out to solve the Israeli problem but like everything else he did it was a failure.  This war criminal attempted to create another Mid-East crisis by surrounding Israel with Muslim Brotherhood Jihadist states so that he could pull the rug out under Israel when hostilities began and dictate the Israeli surrender and eradication.  Over 500,000 dead in Syria alone.  Why haven't Obama and his minions been charged at the Hague?

In reply to by powow

Jack's Raging … venturen Sun, 07/15/2018 - 23:29 Permalink

I don't know about that one. Obama helped normalize DC's corruption, but GWB Jr. and Sr. did most of the heavy lifting for turning the USA into a police state--and you know, 9/11. We also have Wilson for the Federal Reserve, proto-new deal legislation and WWI. Then was Lincoln, who, you know, murdered 500,000 of our countrymen and made THESE united states of America, THE united states of America. Obama was pretty light-weight by comparison to those guys.

In reply to by venturen

Nuclear Winter Sun, 07/15/2018 - 23:13 Permalink

The overt action by the Obama White House was to take out the enemy with a sledgehammer: Arming ISIS with US-made weapons, drones that killed scores of innocent civilians by botched targeting and collateral damage; and egging Assad on with his US-manufactured chlorine barrel bombs.


Yup, nothing covert about the Syrian War.

Conscious Reviver Nuclear Winter Mon, 07/16/2018 - 08:14 Permalink

"killed scores of innocent civilians by botched targeting and collateral damage"

What meds are you taking. When ever, where ever these US trained, supplied and advised if not directed jihadi headchoppers took over horrible crimes were committed. Mass graves were dug and filled. Woman were raped and sold into slavery. At least half a million were killed. This was no botched targeting and collateral damage. This was the obvious outcome of arming these fanatics.

Good article. Thanks for the truthiness.

In reply to by Nuclear Winter

rahrog Sun, 07/15/2018 - 23:37 Permalink

The Obama admin & the Bush admin are guilty of crimes against humanity - WAR CRIMES.


SECEDE from the monster before they bomb you.


Chief Joesph Mon, 07/16/2018 - 00:01 Permalink

What is really bothersome about the U.S. are two things:

1.  It was a CIA driven war, literally of no value to us, yet we paid for it,

2.  Our government spread the fear about Al-Qaeda and ISIS coming to the U.S., and doing terrible terroristic things,  but we supported them in the field in Syria. 

How utterly idiotic can U.S. planners get? Yet, they can't really explain the reason why the U.S. has been there for 7 years.  Certainly not to fight "terrorism" if we are there supporting it.   Or, perhaps they don't want to admit, its over the oil and gas pipelines and terminals coming from Iran, Iraq, and the Caspian sea area, that are competing against the oil and gas pipelines coming from UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia,, all destined for the European market.

  So, what is in it for the U.S.,? Oh, that is right!  Our 1973 agreement to guarantee to the Saudis that we would provide them with military protection in exchange for using our dollar in petro-trade, and funneling the money back to U.S. by buying U.S. securities.  Don't you feel secure knowing that we are supplying our youths and national resources to support and fight a war between tribes of jealous camel jockeys over oil, and to keep our dollar propped up?  Forget the noble nonsense about liberating anyone, or freedom, or spreading democracy.


MoreSun Chief Joesph Mon, 07/16/2018 - 01:20 Permalink


It was by the jew supremacists for the jew supremacists greater israel project. All these jew cia/mossad/idf/idf special unit for counter-espionage and special investigations” (היחידה המיוחדת לסיכול ריגול וחקירות מיוחדות) units, and many others all working for the greater israel project goals. The U.S. is just another israeli whore as well as the UK and jew supremacist controlled Germany.   

In reply to by Chief Joesph

OverTheHedge MoreSun Mon, 07/16/2018 - 02:41 Permalink

All this bold typeface and self-congratulatory agreeing with each other - I can't help but feel someone has more than one account, and is just playing at making up conversations.

However, it seems to me that all around the western world there is fairly draconian antiterrorism legislation, that makes it a crime to provide funds, weapons, logistic etc to terrorists. If there has been a deliberate policy of providing support for known terrorists, even indirectly, this would be a crime, would it not? 

I know that in the UK, if you make a complaint to the police, they are absolutely required to investigate it, and if you make a complaint about supporting terrorism, with copies to various members of the press, you would think that someone might actually have a go at investigating. I don't know how the system works in the US, but in either country the possibility of having a Tesla fire immediately afterwards, even if you don't have a Tessla, would be quite high.

Perhaps someone with more legal experience than me might have a go at suggesting a sensible route to try to get an investigation started. Not because it will lead anywhere, but because it might make people like Tony Blair (May He Rot In Hell Forever - MHRIHF) and Barak Obama (MHRIHF) and Hilary Clinton (MSRIHF) slightly uncomfortable.

In reply to by MoreSun

ArmyofOne Mon, 07/16/2018 - 02:51 Permalink

How about a little diddy on Russian and former Soviet Union involvement?  To much for the Russian Times, oh, I mean. ZeroHedge to add tot he story?

Sparehead ArmyofOne Mon, 07/16/2018 - 08:16 Permalink

I can help with that.

Syria, a sovereign nation, is a Russian ally. In 2015 Syria asked for Russian assistance in fighting foreign attempts to destabilize and overthrow their lawful government. Russia accepted the invitation and is one of few nations with a legitimate presence in Syria. The motivations for the illegal foreign meddling includes the belief that a puppet government can be installed that will allow a Middle East to Europe gas pipeline through Syria. Also, massive oil resources were discovered and confirmed in 2015 in the Golan Heights and the nation currently occupying that region wishes to annex it. 

Diddy complete

In reply to by ArmyofOne

dunce Mon, 07/16/2018 - 03:14 Permalink

All this crap started on obama's watch. It is a sectarian war. The Saudis consider shiites and alawites heretics iran was too big to take on directly so they went after the weak country, Syria Russia and Iran did not "intervene" in a civil war. They stopped outside forces from deposing their friend. The USA has no business in Syria. The author makes no mention of the Christians in Syria that are slaughtered as non believers routinely. Israel has taken a hands off unless threatened because both sides hate Israel they let them slaughter each other just as muslims have done for a thousand years. As soon as the country is secured hezbollah will turn their attention to the destruction of  Israel with Iranian military aid. muslims do not blame obama because they think it is all God's will. Jihad is prescribed in the koran.