LA Times: “In Syria, militias armed by the Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA”

Surprise, surprise. After directing the Pentagon to arm and train the Syrian “rebels”, the Obama administration is perhaps learning that it might not have been a good idea to interfere in an Islamic civil war in which both factions are fighting for the same cause: Islamic domination.

Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, calls the clashes “a fairly new phenomenon.”

It is part of the three-dimensional chess that is the Syrian battlefield,” he said.
President Obama this month authorized a new Pentagon plan to train and arm Syrian rebel fighters, relaunching a program that was suspended in the fall after a string of embarrassing setbacks which included recruits being ambushed and handing over much of their U.S.-issued ammunition and trucks to an Al Qaeda affiliate.

Amid the setbacks, the Pentagon late last year deployed about 50 special operations forces to Kurdish-held areas in northeastern Syria to better coordinate with local militias and help ensure U.S.-backed rebel groups aren’t fighting one another. But such skirmishes have become routine.

Last year, the Pentagon helped create a new military coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces. The goal was to arm the group and prepare it to take territory away from the Islamic State in eastern Syria and to provide information for U.S. airstrikes.

That was the Pentagon.  But the CIA was seemingly operating on a separate mission:
The CIA, meanwhile, has its own operations center inside Turkey from which it has been directing aid to rebel groups in Syria, providing them with TOW antitank missiles from Saudi Arabian weapons stockpiles.

While the Pentagon’s actions are part of an overt effort by the U.S. and its allies against Islamic State, the CIA’s backing of militias is part of a separate covert U.S. effort aimed at keeping pressure on the Assad government in hopes of prodding the Syrian leader to the negotiating table.

At first, the two different sets of fighters were primarily operating in widely separated areas of Syria — the Pentagon-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in the northeastern part of the country and the CIA-backed groups farther west. But over the last several months, Russian airstrikes against anti-Assad fighters in northwestern Syria have weakened them. That created an opening which allowed the Kurdish-led groups to expand their zone of control to the outskirts of Aleppo, bringing them into more frequent conflict with the CIA-backed outfits.

Fighting over territory in Aleppo demonstrates how difficult it is for the U.S. to manage these really localized and in some cases entrenched conflicts,” said Nicholas A. Heras, an expert on the Syrian civil war at the Center for a New American Security, a think tank in Washington. “Preventing clashes is one of the constant topics in the joint operations room with Turkey.”
While the Obama administration contributes greatly to this Syrian civil war and continues their quest to give sanctuary to Syrian Muslim refugees in America, Christians in Syria are basically ignored by the president.

From Christian Post:
“Christians have suffered greatly in the cross-fire between the government and the rebels, and have also faced extreme persecution at the hands of terror group the Islamic State, which has captured significant territory in the war-torn country.

Jean-Clément Jeanbart, the Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, warned back in June that Christians are slowly disappearing from the region.

“In my country, Syria, Christians are caught in the middle of a civil war and they are enduring the rage of an extremist jihad. And it is unjust for the West to ignore the persecutions these Christian communities are experiencing,” Jeanbart said in an article.

What horrors must ISIS commit before the world will take greater action to stop the murderers?” he asked. “Syrian Christians are in grave danger; we may disappear soon.”

Author: Ms. Ann-Marie Murrell
Source: LA Times

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