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The US has backed 21 of the 28 ‘crazy’ militias leading Turkey’s brutal invasion of northern Syria

Former and current US officials have slammed the Turkish mercenary force of “Arab militias” for executing and beheading Kurds in northern Syria. New data from Turkey reveals that almost all of these militias were armed and trained in the past by the CIA and Pentagon.

by Max Blumenthal

Part 3 - Prolific promoters of the “moderate rebels” run from their records

When the Turkish military and its proxy force overwhelmed the Kurdish YPG this October, Hillary Clinton angrily denounced their brutality.

Back in 2012, however, when Clinton was Secretary of State, she junketed to Istanbul to rally support for those very same militias during a “Friends of Syria” conference convened by Erdogan.

She later remarked, “The hard men with the guns are going to be the more likely actors in any political transition than those on the outside just talking. And therefore we needed to figure out how we could support them on the ground, better equip them…

One of those “hard men” is Salim Idriss, today the “Defense Minister” of Syria’s non-existent “provisional government” and de facto leader of the mercenary forces dispatched by Turkey into northern Syria. He has pledged, “We will fight against all terror organizations led by the PYD/PKK.

Back in 2013, however, Idriss was lionized in Washington and hyped as a future leader of Syria.

When the later Sen. John McCain made his notorious surprise visit to the Turkish-Syrian border in May 2013, hoping to inspire a US military intervention, he was warmly welcomed by Idriss, the then-leader of the US-backed Free Syrian Army. 

What we want from the US government is to take the decision to support the Syrian revolution with weapons and ammunition, anti-tank missiles and anti-aircraft weapons,” Idris told Josh Rogin, a reporter and neoconservative booster of regime change in Syria.

Though Idriss and his allies never got the full-scale intervention they sought from the Obama administration, they did receive shipments of heavy weapons, including hundreds of anti-tank TOW missiles.

They were also showered with adulation by droves of hyper-ambitious foreign correspondents from corporate Western outlets.

CNN’s Clarissa Ward was an especially enthusiastic promoter of the FSA, embedding with its fighters, painting them as a heroic resistance. When she returned to Syria years later, she used a top mouthpiece of Syria’s local Al Qaeda affiliate as a fixer for her unequivocally pro-opposition “Inside Aleppo” series.

Danny Gold was also among the flocks of Western reporters that embedded with the armed opposition during the height of the insurgency against Damascus. In 2013, he churned around a piece for Vice on “chatting about ‘Game of Thrones'” with a group of fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra, Al Qaeda’s local franchise.

Gold and a clique of rabid online regime change zealots spent the rest of their time clamoring for US intervention in the country and viciously denigrating anyone who disagreed. Gold has, for instance, likened The Grayzone’s factual coverage of Syria to Nazi propaganda.

This October, when the Turkish invasion of northern Syria began, Gold reported that one of the FSA fighters he embedded with back in 2013 was taking part in the assault on Kurdish positions.

Like Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Islamist fighters’ former boosters, Gold was clearly struggling with a case of cognitive dissonance. Unable to take responsibility for promoting these extremists as they rampaged across Syria for years, or for smearing anyone who forcefully opposed the regime change agenda, he lashed out at his critics: “Almost as if war is complicated and doesn’t fit into the neat little box the anime teens in my mentions don’t realize,” he tweeted.

As members of a former US proxy ruthlessly prey on a present day US proxy, Western pundits and politicians are hoping that no one notices that they spent the past seven years celebrating the former group. They are initiating a cover-up, not only of the blowback unfolding in northern Syria, but of their own records.

This band of hacks is now fully exposed for foisting a bloody scam on the public, marketing some of the most brutal fanatics on the planet as revolutionaries and “moderate rebels” while they destabilized an entire region. Like the extremists they once promoted, most have somehow managed to evade accountability and remain employed.

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