Reprinted from Antiwar
As Russian fighter jets target al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria, the Western media is up in arms -- and in denial. They deny the Russians are taking on ISIS -- and they are indignant that Putin is targeting al-Qaeda, which is almost never referred to by its actual name, but is instead described as "al-Nusra," or the more inclusive "Army of Conquest," which are alternate names for the heirs of Osama bin Laden.
And there are no ideological lines being drawn in this information war: both the left and the right -- e.g., the left-liberal Vox and the Fox News network -- are utilizing a map put out by the neoconservative "Institute for the Study of War" to "prove" that Putin isn't really attacking ISIS -- he's actually only concerned with destroying the "non-ISIS" rebels and propping up the faltering regime of Bashar al-Assad.
The premise behind this kind of propaganda is that there really is some difference between ISIS and the multitude of Islamist groups proliferating like wasps in the region: and that, furthermore, al-Qaeda is "relatively" moderate when compared to the Islamic State. Yes, incredibly, the US and British media are pushing the line that the al-Qaeda fighters in Syria, known as al-Nusra, are really the Good Guys.
Didn't you know that we have always been at war with Eastasia?
There is much whining, this [Thursday] morning, that a supposedly US-"vetted" group known as Tajammu al-Aaza has felt Putin's wrath -- but when we get down into the weeds, we discover that this outfit is fighting alongside al-Qaeda:
"Jamil al-Saleh, a defected Syrian army officer who is now the leader of the rebel group Tajammu al-Aaza, told AlSouria.net that the Russian airstrikes targeted his group's base in al-Lataminah, a town in the western Syrian governorate of Hama. That area represents one of the farthest southern points of the rebel advance from the north and is therefore a crucial front line in the war. An alliance of Syrian rebel factions, including both the al Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front and groups considered by Washington to be more moderate, successfully drove Assad regime forces out of the northern governorate of Idlib and are now pushing south into Hama."
By the way, according to the Pentagon's own testimony before a congressional committee, only 60 "vetted" fighters were sent into Syria to take on both Assad and ISIS. And while they denied, at first, that their pet "moderates" betrayed Washington and handed over most of their weapons and other equipment to al-Qaeda in return for "safe passage," the Pentagon later admitted it. Furthermore, we were told that these were the only "vetted" fighters actually in the field, but now we are confronted with "Tajammu al-Aaza," which -- it's being reported -- is deploying US-supplied missile guidance systems against Syrian government forces.