The Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin, has warned that the US occupation army is concocting a plan to sow chaos in quake-struck Syria by training and arming members of ISIS and other extremist groups.
“[The US army plans] to form several groups of radicals with a total number of about 300 people. After special training, they will be involved in attacks on military facilities in Syria and Iran,” Naryshkin said in an SVR statement released on 20 March.
“Their patrons intend to use some of the terrorists in the capital region, including for the kidnapping of Russian and Iranian servicemen,” he added.
Washington is allegedly giving “a special role in the effort” to the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) – a coalition of Kurdish and Arab rebel fighters that was formed in 2011 by Syrian army defectors and which operates in Syria’s central and northeast regions.
“The Americans and their British allies use them to work with clandestine formations of [ISIS] that are still lingering in the country’s remote regions,” the statement says.
Washington’s efforts to sow chaos in the country come at a time when the Arab world has moved hastily to rebuild ties with Syria, recognizing the failure of the US-sponsored war.
According to the Kremlin, ISIS fighters are tasked with fomenting chaos in Suwayda, Deraa, Homs, Raqqa, and Deir Ezzor governorates. These activities are coordinated from the Al-Tanf military base of the US occupation in Homs.
On top of this, the US army is reportedly getting ready to deliver “several dozen pickup trucks with large-caliber machine guns, as well as the Igla short-range man-portable air defense system, TOW, and NLAW missile defense systems” to the extremist groups.
“Representatives of the US Armed Forces Central Command, along with members from intelligence services, are involved in the planning of major operations against government forces and state structures in Syria,” the SVR reported.
The SVR revelations come just days after US Central Command (CENTCOM) chief, General Michael Kurilla, bemoaned that the Russian air force has increased the frequency of “unprofessional” and “unsafe” flyovers of US occupation bases in Syria.
Despite US claims that it is committed to the defeat of ISIS, earlier this month Al-Monitor noted: “Nearly four years after the [ISIS] defeat on the battlefield, some 10,000 suspected fighters from the group remain in makeshift prisons under [US-proxy militia] control, with not even a hint of international political will to establish war crimes tribunals on the horizon.”
Following last year’s deadly prison riot in Ghweran prison in US-controlled Hasakah, reports said the US army used the chaos to quietly transfer hundreds of ISIS members to Deir Ezzor – including a significant number of high-ranking leaders – in a bid to “revive” the extremist group in Syria’s oil-rich regions.
This took place just a few months before two US Army CH-47 Chinook helicopters were spotted airlifting ISIS fighters in Iraq’s northern province of Kirkuk after clashes with the Iraqi army.
In the early years of the Syrian war, Washington welcomed the growth of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. An August 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report made clear that Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Al-Qaeda were the driving forces of the US and Gulf-backed insurgency against Damascus and that the US and its regional allies supported the establishment of a “Salafist principality” in eastern Syria.
For 18 months after the declaration of the so-called Caliphate, US planners took no action against ISIS, allowing the group to threaten Baghdad and Damascus.
More recently, the US army has been accused of training militants affiliated with ISIS and Al-Qaeda at Al-Tanf base to fight in Ukraine and to carry out attacks inside the territory of former Soviet states.
ISIS ranks in Afghanistan were bolstered last year by US-trained spies and elite military personnel who were abandoned following Washington’s chaotic withdrawal from the country last year, according to former Afghan officials that spoke with western media outlets.