Is The United States Funding ISIS? Iraqis Seem To Think So
Ever since Islamic State gained worldwide popularity, there has been rumors that the U.S. inadvertently or purposely created and/or funded ISIS. In fact, when I typed “United States created” into Google Search the first entry that autocomplete populated was “United States created ISIS.” Now there are actually legitimate news outlets that are reporting on this conspiracy theory could be possible.
I didn’t delve into the deep web to discover this information or scour conspiracy theory forums chock full of secrets about the Illuminati to unearth these cloak-and-dagger allegations. This was in the Washington Post. The reputable newspaper that was founded in 1877, and has won 47 Pulitzer Prizes has entertained the hard-to-believe notions.
In February, Iraq’s Parliamentary Commission on Security and Defense revealed that coalition forces were supplying weapons to Islamic State. During the press conference there were several documents and photographs confirming that international coalition aircraft delivered aid, weapons and supplies to ISIS using parachutes.
“Our armed forces, volunteer fighters, Peshmerga and tribesmen have achieved victories against the ISIS organization in all operations,” Committee Chairman MP Hakim Zamili declared at the House of Representatives. “Meanwhile, we keep finding documents, pictures, and information confirming that the coalition aircrafts violate the Iraqi sovereignty and the international norms in order to prolong the war with ISIS by providing it with aid by air or on land.”
Iraqi military officials say that the United States is supposed to be an ally, but they complain that the U.S. hasn’t done enough to help eradicate Daesh from their country. The perceived lackluster effort on behalf of the Americans has caused Iraqis to conclude that the U.S. is supporting ISIS.
“We don’t believe the Americans support Daesh,” said Naseer Nouri, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense. “But it is true that most people are saying they do, and they are right to believe that the Americans should be doing much more than they are. It’s because America is so slow that most people believe they are supporting Daesh.”
Iraqi military claim that American warplanes routinely decline requests for air support. The U.S. states that their rules of engagement prohibit airstrikes if it risks the lives of civilians. The United States has stated that they do help the Iraqis and has conducted more than 3,768 strikes in Iraq as of Nov. 19, and the tempo of strikes has increased lately.
The U.S. military is assisting Iraqi fighters with near-daily strikes to recapture Baiji. However, the Iraqi fighters insist there have been no strikes by the Americans at all. “We’d be better off without them,” said 1st Lt. Murtada Fadl, who is serving with the Iraqi elite forces in Baiji. He went so far as to say that he wishes that the government would ask the Russians to replace the Americans.
But it isn’t only Iraqi officials that are stating this disturbing conspiracy theory. “The image of the U.S. was damaged in the region, so they created Daesh in order to fight them and restore their image,” said Mohammed Abdul Khaleq, a journalist for a local TV station.
“It is true that most people believe that,” Hassan Abdul-Wahab, 23, selling luggage in a nearby shop said. “But it’s not based on reason. It’s based on racism — because Iraqis don’t like Americans in the first place.”
Meanwhile others disagree and Col. Steve Warren, the military’s Baghdad-based spokesman, called the accusations “beyond ridiculous.” Warren, added, “There’s clearly no one in the West who buys it, but unfortunately, this is something that a segment of the Iraqi population believes.”
“The Iranians and the Iranian-backed Shiite militias are really pushing this line of propaganda, that the United States is supporting ISIL,” Warren said. “It’s part of the Iranian propaganda machine.”
Conspiracy theories were fueled by the vast assortment of U.S. military weaponry that ISIS was able to stockpile. The American-made military equipment including M-16s, Humvees, Howitzers and even tanks are fully functional and doesn’t appear to have a scratch on them, let alone to be involved in any warfare.
Those who don’t believe that the U.S. is arming Daesh state that this impressive arsenal in the hands of the fledgling terrorist organization is because the powder keg region is swimming in American and Russian-made weapons from years of wars. Another idea is that Daesh started conquering large swaths of Iraq and the Iraqi military dropped their mostly U.S.-made weapons and fled.
ISIS captured Iraq’s second largest city Mosul in June 2014, and the terrorist group supposedly acquired a shit-ton of weapons. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi revealed that approximately $656.4 million worth of U.S. military equipment, including some 2,300 Humvees.
There is also a question of how ISIS is funded, and usually the answer is from oil. There are speculations that Daesh makes $50 million a month from selling crude from the oilfields under their control in Iraq and Syria. However, Vladimir Putin says that 40 countries are buying the black market oil, including members of the 20 major economies in the world, which the United States is a part of. “I provided examples based on our data on the financing of different Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) units by private individuals. This money, as we have established, comes from 40 countries and, there are some of the G20 members among them.”
Yousaf al Salafi, a man believed to be a Pakistani commander of Daesh, confessed to law enforcement agencies in Pakistan that ISIS received funds from America. “During investigations, Yousaf al Salafi revealed that he was getting funding – routed through America – to run the organization in Pakistan and recruit young people to fight in Syria,” a leading Pakistani newspaper reported.
The reasons that would justify the United States funding ISIS is to help oust Bashar al-Assad, the President of Syira. Assad is friendly with Vladimir Putin, making Syria an ally of Russia. That is reason why Russia is bombing ISIS and any other rebel group opposing Bashar.
A seven-page, heavily redacted intelligence report from August 2012 from the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was declassified and obtained by Judicial Watch. The once secret document states that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to take down Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
There have been conspiracy theories of the United States funding questionable militias and rebels in the Middle East since 1979. During the height of the Cold War, the U.S. armed Mujahideen groups against their archenemy, Soviet Union, when the Soviet war in Afghanistan erupted. The Central Intelligence Agency named the mission Operation Cyclone, and was one of the longest and most expensive covert CIA operations. Funding initially began with $20–$30 million per year in 1980 and rose to $630 million per year in 1987.
Some believe that the CIA provided arms and military training to the Afghan Arab Mujahideen, which Osama bin Laden was a member of and would later become the infamous founder of al-Qaeda, the terrorist group that executed the September 11 attacks on the United States.
During the Libyan Civil War, there were speculations that the United States funded militant rebels with ties to al-Qaeda in an effort to topple Moammar Gadhafi. Secret intelligence reports included a 16-page list of weapons that Libyans supposedly tracked to the rebels from Western sources or their allies in the region.