Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist.

He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Published time: September 29, 2014 20:11

Entrance to Apaydin camp (Photo by Andre Vltchek)

Arms, Army, Clashes, Conflict, Human rights, Iraq, Middle East,
Military, NATO,Politics, Syria, Turkey, UK, USA, Violence,War

The West and its client states in the Middle East are now bombing
Islamic State (ISIS) positions in Syria, killing both militants and
civilians, violating countless international laws and treaties.

Oil installations inside Syria are in flames; the West "informed"
Damascus that the bombing campaign could take three years, as if it
would be the sole owner of the Middle East.

The fact that it is done with no international endorsement is by now
not surprising anybody.

There is nothing standing on the way of this campaign; no air force
is defending Syrian territory, no surface-to-air-missiles are fired.

Yet, the US and the UK make no secret that this is not just a campaign
to debilitate ISIS positions. The US is openly declaring alliance
with the "moderate opposition forces" inside Syria, which essentially
means those forces that are fighting to overthrow the government of
President Assad.

Damascus' plea for a broader coalition to fight ISIS is being ignored.

No wonder - for years Islamic State (or ISIS) was actually an
integrated part of the "opposition movement" supported, trained and
financed by the West and its regional allies.

Hezbollah is already fighting IS

The excuse or justification, for the latest attacks against Syria,
is simple. British Prime Minister David Cameron told lawmakers:
"This is not a threat on the far side of the world. Left unchecked,
we will face a terrorist caliphate on the shores of the Mediterranean."

By this, he was perhaps referring to that short Syrian Mediterranean
coastline dotted with the cities like Latakia and Tartus, but also,
most likely, to the entire Lebanon, which, according to a regional
analyst, Michael Jansen, " already the third battlefront in the
war against the Islamic State (IS) and, like embattled Syria and Iraq,
it has neither the political unity needed, nor the material means to
fight its battle."

It is enough to read Daily Security Information Reports by UNSIOC
in Lebanon to see how serious the situation really is. There are
incursions from Syrian soil by the militants, kidnappings and constant

But most of the people in the region would definitely disagree with
both Mr. Obama and Mr. Cameron about on whose shoulders rests the
responsibility for this disastrous state of things.

Apaydin Camp (Photo by Andre Vltchek)

Outspoken leader of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, spelled out
his take on the situation, in Lebanon, on September 23, 2014:

"We are against American military intervention and an international
coalition in Syria, whether that [action] is against the Syrian regime
or Daesh (ISIS)... Under the false pretext of fighting terrorism the
U.S. seeks to take control of the region..."

Hezbollah is actually already fighting ISIS, but, despite its great
popularity in Lebanon and in the region, and its inclusiveness and
great social projects (or maybe because of them), the organization
is on the list of terrorist groups, at least in the US and in several
European countries.

It appears that the West is making sure that Lebanon remains
defenseless, even as it appears likely that ISIS could soon intensify
its attacks or to make a decisive dash across the border, from Syrian
territory. Weapons from France had not been delivered yet, partially
because France "worries" that they could be used against Israel. The
US is blocking any purchase of Russian weapons by Lebanon (Defense
Minister of Lebanon, Ms. Nouhad Mashnouk visited Moscow trying to
secure delivery of Russian-made arms), because of "the tension between
the West and Russia over Ukraine."

Region ruined, West controls the game

The situation is extremely complex but what is clear is that the West
is pressing all the control buttons in the "game."

It helped to create and to strengthen "Syrian opposition," including
its most radical elements like Islamic State. The goal was to depose
President Assad. Now when the ISIS went "out of control," and began
gaining territory in both Iraq and Syria, their brutality and military
success are used as justification for direct intervention in Syria.

It is becoming clear that no matter what, President Assad would never
be allowed to win; even if (and perhaps especially if) he is supported
by the majority of the Syrian people.

As a result of actions taken by the West, both Iraq and Syria are
now fully destabilized, or more precisely, they are in ruins.

Hidden camera Jordan - Syrian border (Photo by Andre Vltchek)

Lebanon does not even have fully functioning government or sound
military, and may be swept away by the destructive tide.

The region is now literally flooded with millions of refugees.

And the West is once again pounding the area with Tomahawk missiles
and bombs. Several pro-Western Arab regimes that are co-responsible
for the situation in Syria and Iraq - Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - have joined the "campaign," by
offering their jets. This way, there is some illusion of legitimacy -
their handlers in Washington can trumpet to the world that "they are
not in it alone."

While the "threat of terrorism" and "danger to the region and its
people" are quoted as the main justifications for the military
action, there is really very little logic in those arguments, and
many citizens of the Middle East now simply believe that the West is
aiming at the overthrowing of the government of Syrian President Assad,
at creating an independent, oil-rich, and pro-Western Kurdish state,
and possibly even at igniting conflict with neighboring Iran.

It is also understood that things could get resolved without the
Western bombing campaign; through the channels that the US and EU
would never use: governments in Damascus and Teheran would have
to stop being pushed into the corner. In fact, Syria and Lebanon
would have to be allowed to rearm and to be allowed to fight their
own enemies. And Iran would have to be encouraged to join the fight
against the Islamic State (ISIS).

On 21 September 2014, AP reported:"Syria's parliament speaker said
Sunday that the US should work with Damascus to battle the Islamic
State extremist group rather than allying with nations which he
accused of supporting terrorism. Speaker Jihad Laham was apparently
referring to Saudi Arabia and other countries backing rebels trying
to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad."

But the West is not aiming at resolving the crises. It is pushing
and fighting for full domination of the region.

It is playing chess with both white and black pieces. In between are
tens of millions of people, and entire nations. Every move terminates
countless lives.

Barricaded government building in Beirut (Photo by Andre Vltchek)

Create them, use them, fight them

ISIS did not fall from the sky. They were armed, financed and trained
in the refugee camps built for"Syrian refugees," in Turkey and Jordan.

Both countries are staunch allies of the West; Turkey is on top of
it a member of NATO.

Several regional reporters, including Turkish investigative journalist
Huseyin Guler and Ulusal's TV documentary filmmaker Serkan Koc,
identified the camps as training facilities, particularly Apaydin in
the vicinity of Hatay, near the Turkish border.

The fact that Jordan is offering its territory for purposes of
"training the opposition" is no secret. Earlier this year I worked in
two refugee camps near the Jordan-Syrian border: an old and overcrowded
Zaatari Camp and one new one, which is still only partially operational
- Azraq.

>From testimonies given to me by both refugees and local inhabitants,
Zaatari Camp has been used as a training facility for "Syrian
opposition fighters," for years. In the area, there was a clear
presence of both Saudi and Qatari cadres.

The AP reported: "Jordan is... officially denying that any training
of anti-Assad fighters takes place on its soil, though both Jordanian
and American officials have acknowledged it does."

The National, a daily newspaper published in the United Arab Emirates,
reported on December 28 2013:

"A command centre in Amman or "operations room" as Syrian rebels
describe it, gives military advice to the Free Syrian Army and
channels weapons to them for their fight against Bashar Al Assad's
regime... Rebels say there is also a complex, shadowy system of
weapons movement, with diverse, sometimes parallel, supply routes. The
command centre works with the FSA and the Supreme Military Council -
the FSA high command headed by General Selim Idriss and allied with
the Syrian National Coalition, the opposition political alliance
backed by Arab states and the West."

I investigated the situation on the Turkish-Syrian border, in the
vicinity of the city of Hatay, on several occasions, for both the
documentary film I was producing for Venezuelan TV channel TeleSur,
and for several of my written reports.

The tolerant and multi-cultural city of Hatay has been living in fear
for years, terrorized by those machinegun-waving bearded jihadi cadres
who were transplanted there from Saudi Arabia and from the rest of the
Gulf, in order to train and radicalize Syrian "opposition fighters."

Apayadin Camp is where many of the ISIS fighters have their roots.

Entrance to Incirlik base near Adana (Photo by Andre Vltchek)

Serkan Koc, who has produced several groundbreaking works on the
subject of the "Syrian opposition,"explained to me in Istanbul:

"Of course you do realize that those people are not really 'Syrian
opposition.' They are modern-day legionnaires collected from various
Arab countries, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia, paid by Western
imperialist powers. Some are members of Al-Qaeda and other terrorist
organizations. Most are militant Sunni Muslims. One could describe
them as rogue elements hired to fight the Assad government."

Some of those legionnaires, including those who belong to Islamic State
(ISIS) had mutated and began wearing several hats (President Assad was
warning for months that they would). They are still after President
Assad whom they mainly hate for being secular, and for belonging to
the Alawite sect, which is considered to be heretical in some Sunni
Muslim circles, especially in the most radical ones. But now they
are also after non-Muslims and non-Arabs, even after the interests
of those who actually helped them to come to life - the West.

All this is not unlike how al-Qaida was born. It mutated from
Western-trained and financed Mujahedeen that were first involved in
the fighting against the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (DRA)
and later the Soviet Union.

The West is historically using, even grooming, the most horrendous
allies, be it Mujahedeen in Afghanistan, the military and religious
cadres in 1965 Indonesia, fascist military in Chile, Paraguay and
Argentina, or present-day Ukrainian fascists crews.

"Syrian opposition" is just one of the latest editions. It is clear
who is benefiting: the military and political establishment of the
West, which supplies the weapons, destabilizes countries, even entire
regions, and tries to establish full control over the world.

Then, if and when the situation changes and a former client's movements
go gaga, there is always another use for them: they can serve as a
justification for direct invasions and further militarization of the
regions and the entire planet.

First you create them, then you use them, and in the end you fight

"The only victims" are millions of people who are dying and becoming
internally displaced in the regions destroyed by these brutal
imperialist games.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely
those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

From: Baghdasarian