Nothing highlights quite how fucked up the situation in the Middle East is more than finding out that the ‘good guys’ are spending money, not on fighting ‘bad guys’, but pissing it up a wall funding militias, which have now started fighting each other.
That’s right, reportedly both the Pentagon and the CIA have been funding two separate militias which have now begun to fight each other, and U.S. officials have confirmed the CIA-backed Fursan al Haq militia have repeatedly battled with the Pentagon-armed Syrian Democratic Forces along the Turkish border.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Pentagon’s actions are part of a deliberate effort by the U.S. and its allies to defeat the Islamic State.
Meanwhile, the CIA’s militia is part of a separate covert U.S. operation aimed at keeping the pressure on the Assad government in hopes of forcing the Syrian leader to the negotiating table.
At first, the two different sets of fighters were primarily operating in different areas of Syria. But, over the last few months, airstrikes against anti-Assad fighters in northwestern Syria, by Russia, have weakened them.
This created an opening which allowed the Kurdish-led groups to expand their zone of control to the outskirts of Aleppo, bringing the Pentagon’s men into conflict with the CIA-backed outfits.
The conflict demonstrates perfectly what a cluster fuck the ground war in Syria has become, with dozens of different, often opposing factions attempting to overthrow President Bashar Assad, all while the insidious cancer of ISIS grows and spreads in the same area.
So it no doubt seemed like a great idea for the CIA and Pentagon to arm groups to support U.S. interests in the conflict, because that’s always worked so well for countries in the past…
An anonymous U.S. official said:
This is a complicated, multi-sided war where our options are severely limited. We know we need a partner on the ground. We can’t defeat ISIL without that part of the equation, so we keep trying to forge those relationships.
Funding two separate militias with differing ideologies? I don’t see how this could end badly…