December 14, 2013

Updates On Syria [12.14]: Washington Publicly Backs Al-Qaeda Sympathizers, Al-Qaeda Kidnaps 120 Kurdish Civilians, US-Backed Jihadists In Syria Pose Security Threat To Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics

1. An excerpt from, "US Open to Backing Syria’s Islamist Rebels" by Jason Ditz,, December 13:
But the goal must go on, apparently, and the White House now says its open to the idea of throwing its support behind the Islamic Front, a Salafist group that was involved in mass kidnappings and executions earlier this week on the outskirts of Damascus.

All the US is asking is that they disavow al-Qaeda, who was also involved in those executions. It wouldn’t do for the US to be backing al-Qaeda, you see, but backing their ideological brethren so long as they’re at least nominally separate, that’s evidently fair game.
"Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive!" - Sir Walter Scott.

2. An excerpt from, "Syria: al-Qaida-linked rebels kidnap 120 Kurds, monitoring group says" Reuters, December 13:
Islamist rebels linked to al-Qaida have kidnapped at least 120 Kurdish civilians from a village near the Turkish border in Aleppo province, according to a monitoring group.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) fighters entered Ihras, 12 miles south of the border town of Azaz, and took the captives, including at least six women, to an unknown location.

The SOHR, which has a network of sources across Syria, cited Arab and Kurdish sources in and around Ihras. Reuters could not immediately verify the report.

The incident is the latest in a series of kidnappings and killings by Isil this month targeting Kurds in northern Syria, where mainly Sunni Arab Islamist rebels and Kurdish fighters have clashed repeatedly in recent months.
3. An excerpt from, "Sinister Fruits of The West's Alliance with Jihad Warriors in Syria" by Dmitry Minin, Ron Paul Institute, December 13:
Currently the Islamists have total control over the FSA. According to the Independent, there are 22,500 fighters in ISIS alone. This organization is especially active in taking hostages. For example, they have abducted and detained 35 foreign journalists, as well as 60 various political and public figures. According to U.S. intelligence, over half of the 17,000 foreign insurgents fighting in Syria against the government are part of the Islamic State of Iran and Syria group.  The Russian-speaking wing of this group, which numbers several hundred fighters, is led by a Chechen from the Pankisi Gorge in Georgia, Tarkhan Batirashvili, also known as Sheikh Omar al-Shishani... As the Wall Street Journal reports, Batirashvili received his military training in the American-backed Georgian army. His troops include not only emigrants from former Soviet republics, but Europeans who are notable for their “unusual violence...even by the gruesome standards of the war in Syria”. Although those close to Batirashvili say that he is trying to strike a blow against one of the Kremlin's allies, he also does not hide his hatred for America, writes the Wall Street Journal. In 2008 he fought against Russia in a Georgian military intelligence unit. It is worth noting that in September 2010 the restless Batirashvili was arrested in Georgia for illegally harboring weapons and sentenced to three years in prison. However, in early 2012 he was released from prison and immediately left for Syria. One could assume that this turn of fate took place with the participation of then-president of Georgia M. Saakashvili. Threats from Syrian jihadists toward the Sochi Olympic Games are also linked with Batirashvili's name.