Forget These Conspiracy Theories About ISIS
The conspiracy theory that either Mossad or the CIA are funding and advising ISIS in order to “smear” Muslims is totally baseless.
In fact ISIS is a joint Syrian/Iranian project to tarnish the Syrian revolution, to protect the Assad regime and portray Bashar al Assad as a fighter of terrorism.
Iran and Syria have had a history of working with al Qaeda and its off-shoot ISIS.
On 14th January 2014, according to Middle Eastern news sources, the former Iraqi Minister of Justice Hassan al Shammari accused high ranking officials in Iraq of playing a role in allowing al Qaeda prisoners to escape to Syria to beef up al-Qaeda’s presence in Syria to help the Syrian regime and to discourage the UK and US Governments from taking a tough stance against the Assad regime.
The Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on 9th January “the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) emerged only when the Syrian opposition groups gained ground in Syria’s north.”
“There is a behind-the-scene partnership between them [ISIL] and the regime,” the foreign minister was quoted as saying by state news agency Anadolu in its website.
A report in Al-Arabiya (21st January 14) stated that the largely secular Free Syrian Army (FSA), joined with other moderate rebel groups, declared a war on ISIS, accusing it of cooperating with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and of seeking to divide the rebels.
Ever since the fighting broke out, many on both sides were killed or detained. Some of those al-Qaeda members who fell to rebels’ hands said ISIS had ties with the Syrian regime.
Assad ISIS Collaboration
One example of collaboration between the regime and ISIS according to defectors from the Islamic group: “ISIS was behind a bombing that destroyed Raqqa’s train station last year. We received orders to bomb the train station. We were also ordered to fire on ambulances and civilians trying to reach the victims,” he said.
According to defectors and moderate rebels, the Assad regime also deliberately released terrorist prisoners to strengthen the extremist groups and to weaken the secular rebels. The regime was trying to convince the USA that the uprising was sponsored by Al-Qaeda jihadists and that the regime is fighting Islamic terrorism.
It is a known fact that the Iranian and Syrian regimes have been manipulating al-Qaeda to their own advantage. During the occupation of Iraq, particularly the period 2003 – 2010, Syria had been actively facilitating the entry of al-Qaeda jihadists to destabilize Iraq and kill American soldiers and Iraqis. Later, at the behest of Iran and Syria, al-Qaeda carried out operations in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the USA.
Al-Qaeda, through its offshoot “the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL)” sometimes referred to as ISIS, has succeeded in sabotaging the Syrian revolution by assassinating officers and top military commanders of the Free Syrian Army. With the help of Tehran and Damascus, the Jihadist groups have targeted the rivals of the two regimes and managed to tarnish the revolution against the Syrian regime.
The Pan Arab Asharq al-Awsat newspaper reported on 5th January 2014 that “Iran provided sanctuary for al Qaeda leading figures such as Seif al-Adel, Suleiman Abu al-Ghaith and Bin Laden’s sons, Nasser al Qarawwi and others.”
According to Al-Ahram Weekly, the respected Egyptian Newspaper (29th October 2013): “Many in the Syrian opposition say that the al-Qaeda affiliates are now in fact doing the regime’s bidding by weakening its true adversaries, those led by the FSA, and alienating Syrian civilians and the West and thus giving the regime the opportunity to claim it is fighting terrorists.”
The Iranian and Syrian regimes have been manipulating al-Qaeda to their own advantage
It is not surprising therefore that the Syria’s opposition National Coalition reacted by accusing the al-Qaeda-linked group in the country of having ties to the Syrian regime, and accused it of serving the government’s interests.
“In a response to Al Qaeda Emir Ayman al Zawahiri’s latest attempt at reconciliation with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad Al Adnani made a startling admission: Al Qaeda has ordered its fighters and branches to refrain from attacking the Iranian state in order to preserve the terror group’s network in the country.” (Long War Journal May 2014).
ISIS was established on April 8, 2013, when its subsidiary organization, Jabhat Al Nusra, merged with the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), which itself was a successor to Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
The organization’s leader is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who announced the Islamic Caliphate in June 2014. The group announced on 30th June that it was now called the “Islamic State.” An official document was also released, in English and several other languages.
Many believe that this is an Iranian inspired step to frighten the West that Bashar Al Assad’s regime is the only bulwark against the new Islamic threat. ISIS clashed with its former Al-Qaeda branch, already active in Syria, Jabhat Al-Nusra or Al-Nusra Front headed by Abu Mohammad Al Golani.
The clash between ISIS and Al-Nusra sparked accusations that ISIS was nothing but a means for the Syrian Military Intelligence Directorate, along with the Iranians, to plant agents of the Assad regime and of Iran within the Syrian opposition, thereby spreading confusion in its ranks and diverting it from the fight against Assad into an internecine struggle, according to a report published by the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs in June 2014.
What would Iran’s motivation be to support a Sunni jihadist organizations like ISIS? In Syria, ISIS has forced the West to choose between the regime of Bashar al-Assad or a terrorist outfit. Given that choice, it was assumed that the West would back Assad, as did the Russians and the Chinese.
The US 9/11 Commission Report, had already established that Iran even “facilitated the transit of Al-Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, including future hijackers.”
ISIS suddenly emerged in Syria, at a time when the collapse of Assad’s regime seemed imminent. The emergence of ISIS saved the Syrian regime by threatening the world that an alternative terrorist regime would replace Assad’s.
Other evidence of the Iranian regime’s involvement with ISIL includes the discovery of official documents and passports issued by the Iranian authorities at ISIL’s headquarters in rural western Aleppo earlier this year, said Syrian journalist Mohammed Abdullah.
“These documents include Iranian passports and several other documents belonging to fighters from Chechnya and Kazakhstan, in addition to many Iranian SIM cards” – Syrian journalist Mohammed Abdullah.
In its editorial on 28 December 2014 The Sunday Times said “with its medieval brutality … ISIS has proved useful for the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.”