Huge amounts of US-provided flour smuggled into northern Syria (see image below) have formed the foundation of Al Qaeda’s public relations strategy, the Washington Post and London Telegraph reveal. Together with huge amounts of US-provided weapons, the aid is fueling Al Qaeda’s continued operations and atrocities inside Syria.
Recently it was revealed that the US, UK, and France, through Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, and other regional allies, have been funneling cash and thousands of tons of weapons into Syria – the vast majority of which have ended up in the hands of Al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise, Jabhat al-Nusra.
The New York Times in their article titled, “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With C.I.A. Aid,” admits that:
With help from the C.I.A., Arab governments and Turkey have sharply increased their military aid to Syria’s opposition fighters in recent months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment for the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to air traffic data, interviews with officials in several countries and the accounts of rebel commanders.
The airlift, which began on a small scale in early 2012 and continued intermittently through last fall, expanded into a steady and much heavier flow late last year, the data shows. It has grown to include more than 160 military cargo flights by Jordanian, Saudi and Qatari military-style cargo planes landing at Esenboga Airport near Ankara, and, to a lesser degree, at other Turkish and Jordanian airports.
While the West attempts to claim these weapons are being sent to “moderates,” the US State Department itself admits that Al Qaeda is operating in every major city in Syria, carrying out hundreds of terrorist attacks, and is by far the most highly organized, most prominent militant front in the conflict. If the West via Saudi Arabia and Qatar is sending thousands of tons of weapons to “moderates,” who is sending more weapons to Jabhat al-Nusra?
The obvious answer is there are no moderates, and the West has been intentionally arming Al Qaeda from the beginning. In fact, this is a documented conspiracy first revealed as early as 2007 by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his New Yorker article titled, “”The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” which stated specifically:
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
Now, further evidence that the summation of US aid has fallen into the hands of Al Qaeda in Syria, comes to us from Washington Post propagandist Liz Sly who reported in her article, “U.S. feeds Syrians, but secretly,” that:
In the heart of rebel-held territory in Syria’s northern province of Aleppo, a small group of intrepid Westerners is undertaking a mission of great stealth. Living anonymously in a small rural community, they travel daily in unmarked cars, braving airstrikes, shelling and the threat of kidnapping to deliver food and other aid to needy Syrians — all of it paid for by the U.S. government.
Sly then claims that most Syrians credit Al Qaeda’s al-Nusra with providing the aid:
“America has done nothing for us. Nothing at all,” said Mohammed Fouad Waisi, 50, spitting out the words for emphasis in his small Aleppo grocery store, which adjoins a bakery where he buys bread every day. The bakery is fully supplied with flour paid for by the United States. But Waisi credited Jabhat al-Nusra — a rebel group the United States has designated a terrorist organization because of its ties to al-Qaeda — with providing flour to the region, though he admitted he wasn’t sure where it comes from.
And while Sly attempts to spin the story as merely misdirected anger and ignorance on the part of Syrians receiving the aid, it is well documented that bakeries in terrorist-held territory are in fact manned by Al Qaeda militants. In fact, while Sly maintains that “security concerns” are owed for America’s opaque aid distribution operation, it appears more likely the US is attempting to insidiously obfuscate its use of humanitarian aid to help its militant proxies win “hearts and minds” amid a humanitarian catastrophe the West itself engineered and perpetuated intentionally.
The London Telegraph revealed in their February 2013 article, “Syria: how jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra is taking over Syria’s revolution,” that taking over bakeries was a key strategy used by Al Qaeda’s al-Nusra front to “win over” the population:
Then, in the past weeks, Jabhat al-Nusra – which is outside the FSA – pushed other rebel groups out of the stores and established a system to distribute bread throughout rebel areas.
In a small office attached to a bakery in the Miesseh district of Aleppo, Abu Yayha studied a map pinned on the wall. Numbers were scrawled in pencil against streets.
“We counted the population of every street to assess the need for the area,” explained Mr Yahya. “We provide 23,593 bags of bread every two days for this area. This is just in one district. We are calculating the population in other districts and doing the same there.
“In shops the cost is now 125 Syrian pounds (£1.12) for one pack. Here we sell it at 50 Syrian pounds (45p) for two bags. We distribute some for free for those who cannot pay.”
The bakery works constantly. Inside, barrows filled with dough were heaved onto a conveyor belt that chopped it into round and flat segments, before pushing the dough into a giant oven. Workers packed the steaming flatbread in bags.
“I am from Jabhat al Nusra. All the managers of all the bakeries are,” said Abu Fattah, the manager. “This makes sure that nobody steals.”
In essence, Al Qaeda is taking over neighborhoods upon a mountain of US-provided flour, in bakeries overrun and held at the barrels of US-provided guns. Humanitarian aid is being used as a political weapon to carve out territory for the West’s heavily armed proxies and extort cooperation from the subjugated people who find themselves inside Al Qaeda-occupied territory.