- Mainstream media in 2013: “Conspiracy Theorists!”
- Mainstream media in 2017: “ISIS Got a Powerful Missile the CIA Bought!”
Years late to the party, mainstream media outlets like USA Today, Reuters, and Buzzfeed are just out with “breaking” and “exclusive” stories detailing how a vast arsenal of weapons sent to Syria by the CIA in cooperation with US allies fuelled the rapid growth of ISIS. Buzzfeed’s story entitled, Blowback: ISIS Got A Powerful Missile The CIA Secretly Bought In Bulgaria, begins by referencing “a new report on how ISIS built its arsenal highlights how the US purchased munitions, intended for Syrian rebels, that ended up in the hands of the terrorist group.”
The original study that Buzzfeed and other media are referencing comes from a UK-based independent weapons research organization called Conflict Armament Research (CAR) which has had a team of weapons and munitions experts on the ground in the Middle East for years examining arms and equipment recovered from ISIS and other terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria. Using serial numbers, crate shipping markings, and all available forensics data, the CAR experts began finding that as early as 2013 to 2014 much of the Islamic State’s advanced weapons systems as well as small arms were clearly sourced to the United States and the West.
“Supplies of materiel into the Syrian conflict from foreign parties – notably the United States and Saudi Arabia – have indirectly allowed IS to obtain substantial quantities of anti-armor ammunition,” states the CAR report. “These weapons include anti-tank guided weapons and several varieties of rocket with tandem warheads, which are designed to defeat modern reactive armor.”
A PG-9 missile modified to fit a Model 2 recoilless launcher system. Produced in 2016 in Romania, exported to the United States and documented in Mosul in September 2017. Source: Conflict Armament Research
The study further reveals that in one notable instance, a weapons shipment of advanced missile systems switched hands from US intelligence to “moderate” Syrian groups to ISIS in only a two month time period. Though the report is now evoking shock and confusion among pundits, the same weapons research group has actually published similar findings and conclusions going years back into the Syrian conflict.
For example, a previous 2014 Conflict Armament Research report found that Balkan origin anti-tank rockets recovered from ISIS fighters appeared identical to those shipped in 2013 to Syrian rebel forces as part of a CIA program.
And CAR’s damning publications presenting such inconvenient empirical data have been consistent for years, yet were largely ignored and suppressed by analysts and mainstream media who were too busy cheerleading US support for Syrian “rebels” cast as romantic revolutionaries in their struggle to topple Assad and his secular nationalist government. Of course, it’s an old story if you’ve been reading Zero Hedge or the profusion of independent outlets that have long reported the truth about the covert “dirty war” in Syria since nearly the beginning.
Even though it’s now suddenly acceptable and fashionable to admit – as does one recent BBC headline (“The Jihadis You Pay For”) – that the US and Saudi covert program in Syria fuelled the rise of ISIS and various other al-Qaeda linked terror groups, it must be remembered that only a short time ago the mainstream media openly mocked analysts and writers who dared make the connection between the West’s massive covert Syrian rebel aid programs and the al-Qaeda insurgents who so clearly benefited.
When news of the 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report broke, which described what it called a “Salafist principality” or “an Islamic State” as a strategic asset or buffer in Syria that could be used by the Western coalition “in order to isolate the Syrian regime”, American media outlets dismissed what was labelled a “conspiracy theory” at the time in spite of the hard evidence of a US military intelligence report being made available.
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