In the bloody terror-fueled conflicts that have been waged by the U.S. and NATO in Libya and Syria, one man has helped to recruit so-called “freedom fighters” and unleash them on those countries’ innocent civilians. But he has yet to be brought to justice.
by Steven Sahiounie
Part 2 - Al-Harati recruits poor Syrians to join Western-backed “revolution”
The al-Qaeda commanders in the employ of the U.S. and NATO in Libya were typically referred to as “rebels” and “insurgents.” But they were no rag-tag Libyans fighting for freedom – they were part of a well-planned U.S.-NATO regime change project that would act as a test run for Syria. The Tripoli Brigade did not consist exclusively of Libyans, with its formation setting the precedent for the use of international terrorists as U.S.-NATO ground troops in Syria.
In March 2011, the beginning stages of the Syrian uprising were being fomented in Daraa’a, and Libyan terrorists were again being used as ground forces to get the ball rolling. Weapons came pouring in from the same CIA stockpiles used in Libya.
Al-Harati was tasked with setting up the “Liwa al-Umma Brigade” in northern Syria. His arms were sent to him directly from Benghazi, with U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens ordered to ship out weapons to the Turkish port of Iskenderun. The weapons were which received by the Turkish intelligence service and transported directly by truck to northern Syria.
It was al-Harati who devised a plan to use a Syrian ethnic group known as the Turkmen, who live on the country’s northern border with Turkey, to bolster his group’s ranks. By playing on their radical Wahhabist ideology and promising them salaries and spoils of war, the undereducated farmers and their families easily fell in with al-Harati and the U.S.-NATO regime change agenda in Syria.
Al-Harati was by now quite experienced in using the assets he had already acquired – in this case, international jihadists from al-Qaeda who came from all over the world. Adding local Syrian forces to his group gave them greater legitimacy as a so-called “rebel” force. Al-Harati even brought in Western journalists – illegally, without visas – to report on their efforts to start a “revolution.”
But not all of the journalists immediately bought al-Harati’s story. Several seasoned war correspondents who had recently been in Libya recognized that most of the “freedom fighters,” as well as their commanding staff, were Libyans. However, the true facts on the ground did not interfere with their “reporting,” as they recognized that they would have to follow their respective countries’ official line and affirm the democratic aspirations of the Syrian “grassroots revolution.”
Al-Harati left Syria after setting up a strong fighting force, securing more Syrians for command positions. One commander was General Selim Idris, who hosted U.S. Senator John McCain in the Idlib area of Syria. Senator McCain is also believed to have entered the country illegally. Upon returning to the U.S., McCain was one of the strongest voices in Congress regarding the Syrian conflict, urging the passing of bills to send additional weapons, funds, intelligence and training to the Free Syrian Army “rebels.”