Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis in 2011, reports have been repeatedly published about the presence of al-Qaeda groups such as al-Nusra Front and other Takfiri groups in the Arab country.
Two years after the beginning of the crisis in Syria, Americans and people of other nationalities face an important question; what is the difference between the al-Qaeda of 2001 and that of 2011? Why did the US form a coalition against al-Qaeda in 2001 and why is it now trying to form a coalition to help al-Qaeda?
What is the reason for the paradox in US policies with regards to al-Qaeda and how much truth is there to what Western media says about the nature of al-Qaeda? Why did al-Qaeda end up in Syria and what is it looking for? These are questions which require answers because of the possibility of a military attack against the country as well the escalation in anti-Syria war rhetoric.
In 2001 the US announced al-Qaeda as the perpetrator of the September 11 terrorist attack in New York City. In the next step al-Qaeda became known as the symbol of terrorism and Washington’s plan for the so-called war on terror was ready for implementation. At the time many world countries and even the UN agreed the terrorism must be eradicated.
To answer this question one must first take a look at the formation of this group and its supporters. Al-Qaeda is a group which was formed in the 4th decade of the twentieth century with the financial support of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and the military support of the US to block the influence of Soviet Russia and in a bid to control communism.
The group continued its existence until the disintegration of the Soviet Russia. According to Zbigniew Brzezinski, al-Qaeda is the child of a mutual effort by the CIA and the KSA intelligence agency in the 1980s.
Following the disintegration of soviet Russia, the rise to power of Taliban in Afghanistan and the radical behavior of this group toward the followers of other religions, public opinion was provoked.
US officials had a few meetings with al-Qaeda leaders, including Osama Bin Laden, in order to bring the group under their control, but the meetings were mostly unsuccessful as the group was uncontrollable due to having lots of wealth and weapons. The September 11 scenario was the only way that the US could control this group.
The US seemed damaged at the time and a group called al-Qaeda had attacked the country. The situation at the time prepared the ground for forming a coalition against the al-Qaeda and ultimately the US attacked Afghanistan.
Iraq was also targeted for financially supporting the al-Qaeda and having weapons of mass destruction. But to balance the power between Shias and Sunnis in Iraq the group commits its atrocities and murders under the name of the Islamic State of Iraq.
The continuation of violence in Iraq is a scenario designed by the US to counter the increasing power of Shia Muslims and the tool to carry out this is al-Qaeda affiliated groups in the country, although they pretend to disavow the US.
In 2011, dissatisfaction became evident among some Syrian Sunni communities in Aleppo and Homs and after some Syrian army officer’s treated some Sunni sheikhs US attention was drawn to Syria.
The US is currently in a position in which it can use provoking Syrians to overthrow Bashar Assad’s unfriendly government. But opposition in Syria is for a small part of the society and very soon the US realizes it cannot overthrow Bashar from inside Syria.
From May 2011 when Takfiri groups linked to al-Qaeda began entering Syria in groups or individually from the Turkish, Jordanian and Israeli borders. These individuals formed militant groups. Two of these groups including the Al-Nusra Front officially announced their affiliation to al-Qaeda. Despite this, US media and the media belonging to US allies try to portray these individuals as a part of the Syrian nation rebelling against the central government. However, gradually, reports by research institutions belonging to these countries began to emerge, showing that the majority of militants in Syria are foreign nationals.
The foreign-backed militants affiliated to al-Qaeda in Syria carry out all sorts of terrorist acts including massacring children, women, and mutilating corpses. But it appears that this time not only the international community has become deaf and blind but the US seeks also to form a coalition to assist terrorism.
This is while certain militant commanders in Syria are Turkish and Jordanian officers and some terrorists have been trained by the US in Jordan. KSA and Qatar continue to financially support militants and aid has been sent by Israel for these militants as well. In reality, the US for various reasons has decided to overthrow the Syrian government at any cost even at the cost of its credibility.
It now appears that one can understand the scenarios about Osama bin Laden’s killing. Bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda, has been killed and his followers are being persecuted in Yemen and Mali. But now, the ‘good’ al-Qaeda has been formed in line with US colonialist objectives. The US is even willing to support this “good al-Qaeda” at the expense of the credibility of the UN and UNSC and even its own Congress.
Currently it is not important for the US that militants are destroying churches and monasteries in Syria and setting fire to Christian homes and executing them. For them, at present, the fall of Bashar is more important than everything else.
Therefore, one can say that like the CIA, al-Qaeda is one of the US tools used to execute its demands across the world.
Whenever the White House wants, this group emerges in a country and Western governments under the pretext of supporting that country in countering al-Qaeda (like what happened in Afghanistan and Mali) or under the pretext of supporting al-Qaeda against the central government (like what’s happening in Syria at present), meddle in that country.
What is most important and should be taken into consideration is the level of consciousness of the international community about the US manipulation. It appears that this time the people of the world have not believed US claims about Syria, but also at a higher level, US Congressmen are also looking at the matter with doubt.
Tahmineh Bakhtiari is an journalist and an expert on the Middle East and Latin America. Her writings have appeared in many print and online journals and newspapers including The Khorassan Daily, Jam-e Jam, Jomhuri Islami and Aftrab-e Yazd. Her book ‘The Genealogy of Zionism’ was published in 2001. Bakhtiari has a master’s degree in international relations.