CIA Backed Militias Are Now Fighting Pentagon Backed Militias In Syria Because, Well, Because Whoopsies
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War is confusing these days, man.
It’s not like the good old days, when you had your good guys and your bad guys, and everyone in your government was in agreement about who those bad guys were.
Nazis. Commies. Fuck ’em all. Those are some people we could agree to fight.
Shit ain’t the same anymore. Now, conflicts are rife with sectarian disagreements and religious differences and ever-changing alliances between forces, conflicts with a mess of militias so murky that you wind up with the United States fighting the United States in Syria.
That’s right. A militia backed by the Pentagon, which is from the U.S., and a militia backed by the CIA, which also is from the U.S., are fighting each other in Syria, reports The Los Angeles Times:
The fighting has intensified over the last two months, as CIA-armed units and Pentagon-armed ones have repeatedly shot at each other while maneuvering through contested territory on the northern outskirts of Aleppo, U.S. officials and rebel leaders have confirmed.
In mid-February, a CIA-armed militia called Fursan al Haq, or Knights of Righteousness, was run out of the town of Marea, about 20 miles north of Aleppo, by Pentagon-backed Syrian Democratic Forces moving in from Kurdish-controlled areas to the east.
“Any faction that attacks us, regardless from where it gets its support, we will fight it,” Maj. Fares Bayoush, a leader of Fursan al Haq, said in an interview.
Yea, no need for nuance when you’re dealing with killing people, that’s what I always say. Indiscriminate or bust.
This does appear to be a genuine case of the whoopsies, as originally the two fighting factions were in separate parts of the nation, doing different things.
While the Pentagon’s actions are part of an overt effort by the U.S. and its allies against Islamic State, the CIA’s backing of militias is part of a separate covert U.S. effort aimed at keeping pressure on the Assad government in hopes of prodding the Syrian leader to the negotiating table.
At first, the two different sets of fighters were primarily operating in widely separated areas of Syria — the Pentagon-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in the northeastern part of the country and the CIA-backed groups farther west.
Then shit got fucked.
But over the last several months, Russian airstrikes against anti-Assad fighters in northwestern Syria have weakened them. That created an opening which allowed the Kurdish-led groups to expand their zone of control to the outskirts of Aleppo, bringing them into more frequent conflict with the CIA-backed outfits.
Like we said. Whoopsies.
So you’d imagine the world’s leading superpower would immediately rectify the situation. Right? Or when asked about it say something other than just “Meh?”
“It is an enormous challenge,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who described the clashes between U.S.-supported groups as “a fairly new phenomenon.”
“It is part of the three-dimensional chess that is the Syrian battlefield,” he said.
“This is a complicated, multi-sided war where our options are severely limited,” said a U.S. official, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Come on, someone’s gotta give a shit, right?
“Once they cross the border into Syria, you lose a substantial amount of control or ability to control their actions,” Jeffrey White, a former Defense Intelligence Agency official, said in a telephone interview.
Fuck it, I guess.
[Via The Los Angeles Times]