Almost three years ago the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) of the U.S. Dept of Defense accurately characterized the conflict in Syria and predicted the emergence of the Islamic State. This stunning revelation has emerged as a result of a Freedom of Information Act law suit filed by Judicial Watch in connection with the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
The heavily redacted August 2012 seven page intelligence report reveals the following:
1. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) confirmed the sectarian core of the Syrian insurgency. It says
“EVENTS ARE TAKING A CLEAR SECTARIAN DIRECTION. THE SALAFIST, THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, AND AQI ARE THE MAJOR FORCES DRIVING THE INSURGENCY IN SYRIA.” (capitalization in the report; AQI = Al Queda in Iraq)
This analysis is in sharp contrast with western media and political elite which has characterized the “Syrian revolution” as being driven by protestors in a quest for “democracy and freedom”.
2. DIA confirmed the close connection between Syrian opposition and Al Queda. The report says
“AQI SUPPORTED THE SYRIAN OPPOSITION FROM THE BEGINNING, BOTH IDEOLOGICALLY AND THROUGH THE MEDIA….. AQI CONDUCTED A NUMBER OF OPERATIONS IN SEVERAL SYRIAN CITIES UNDER THE NAME JAISH AL NUSRAH (VICTORIOUS ARMY)”
3. DIA confirmed that the Syrian insurgency was enabling the renewal of Al Queda in Iraq and Syria. The report says,
“THERE WAS A REGRESSION OF AQI IN THE WESTERN PROVINCES OF IRAQ DURING THE YEARS OF 2009 AND 2010; HOWEVER, AFTER THE RISE OF THE INSURGENCY IN SYRIA, THE RELIGIOUS AND TRIBAL POWERS IN THE REGIONS BEGAN TO SYMPATHIZE WITH THE SECTARIAN UPRISING. THIS SYMPATHY APPEARED IN FRIDAY PRAYER SERMONS, WHICH CALLED FOR VOLUNTEERS TO SUPPORT THE SUNNIS IN SYRIA.”
4. DIA predicted the Syria government will survive but foreign powers and the opposition will try to break off territory to establish an opposition ‘capital’ as was done in Libya. The report says,
“THE REGIME WILL SURVIVE AND HAVE CONTROL OVER SYRIAN TERRITORY…… OPPOSITION FORCES ARE TRYING TO CONTROL THE EASTERN AREAS ADJACENT TO THE WESTERN IRAQI PROVINCES (MOSUL AND ANBAR), IN ADDITION TO NEIGHBORING TURKISH BORDERS. WESTERN COUNTRIES, THE GULF STATES AND TURKEY ARE SUPPORTING THESE EFFORTS. THIS HYPOTHESIS IS MOST LIKELY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DATA FROM RECENT EVENTS, WHICH WILL HELP PREPARE SAFE HAVENS UNDER INTERNATIONAL SHELTERING, SIMILAR TO WHAT TRANSPIRED IN LIBYA WHEN BENGHAZI WAS CHOSEN AS THE COMMAND CENTER OF THE TEMPORARY GOVERNMENT.”
5. DIA predicted the expansion of Al Queda and declaration of “Islamic State” (two years before it happened). The report says
“IF THE SITUATION UNRAVELS THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME WHICH IS CONSIDERED THE STRATEGIC DEPTH OF THE SHIA EXPANSION (IRAQ AND IRAN). THE DETERIORATION OF THE SITUATION HAS DIRE CONSEQUENCES ON THE IRAQI SITUATION…… THIS CREATES THE IDEAL ATMOSPHERE FOR AQI TO RETURN TO ITS OLD POCKETS IN MOSUL AND RAMADI, AND WILL PROVIDE A RENEWED MOMENTUM UNDER THE PRESUMPTION OF UNIFYING THE JIHAD AMONG SUNNI IRAQ AND SYRIA AND THE REST OF THE SUNNIS IN THE ARAB WORLD AGAINST WHAT IT CONSIDERS ONE ENEMY, THE DISSENTERS. ISI COULD ALSO DECLARE AN ISLAMIC STATE THROUGH ITS UNION WITH OTHER TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS IN IRAQ AND SYRIA, WHICH WILL CREATE GRAVE DANGER IN REGARDS TO UNIFYING IRAQ AND THE PROTECTION OF ITS TERRITORY.”
The last prediction (in summer 2012) is especially remarkable since it predates the actual declaration of the “Islamic State” by two years.
The August and September 2012 secret reports were sent to the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, State Department, Department of Defense and U.S. Central Command.
Conclusions and Questions
The Defense intelligence report accurately characterized the sectarian core of the Syrian opposition and predicted the renewal and growth of ISIS leading to the declaration of an “Islamic State”.
The consequence has been widespread death and destruction. Today much of the world looks on in horror as ISIS military forces murder and behead Palmyra soldiers and government supporters and threaten the destruction of one of humanity’s greatest archaeological treasures.
Knowing what was in this report raises the following questions:
* Why did the U.S. Government not change their policy?
* Why did the U.S. Government continue to demonize the secular Assad government and actively support a Syrian insurgency where “THE SALAFIST, MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, AND AQI ARE THE MAJOR FORCE”?
* Why did the U.S. Government prevent mainstream media from seeing and reporting on this intelligence in 2012? (It might have quieted the barking hounds of war.)
* Why did the U.S. Government continue to allow the shipping of weapons to the Syrian opposition, as documented in another secret report from September 2012?
* Is the destruction and mayhem the result of a mistake or is it intentional?
Intentional or not, aren’t the U.S. government and Gulf/NATO/Turkey allies significantly responsible for the mayhem, death and destruction we are seeing in Iraq and Syria today?
Rick Sterling is a founding member of Syrian Solidarity Movement. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org