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Friday, May 4

Is Trump a bigger friend to Salafist jihadists than President Obama was?

He looks a little angry about the size of the weapons haul

Photo: Damascus Now; see SouthFront report for larger version.

The intercepted shipment includes dozens of US-made M72 LAW anti-tank rockets, dozens of mortar and RPG rounds, a Soviet-made Konkurs Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) and a large amount of ammunition for 12,7, 14,5 and 23mm machine guns. 

Today SST's Colonel Patrick Lang (Rtd) examined a May 2 SouthFront report about Syrian military intelligence seizing weapons and medicine smuggled from southern Syria to besieged insurgents in the northern Homs countryside. Exactly where in the countryside is the question the Colonel wants answered:
It is unclear from this piece if the destinations for this materiel were the Rastan Pocket just north of Homs City or the Big Sandy pocket south of the line Palmyra-Deir al Zor [also spelled Deir Ezzor].
The Rastan Pocket is rapidly being reduced by negotiation and threat of [Syrian Army]Tiger Forces attention. The M5 motorway to Aleppo is being reopened even as I write. This pocket is NOT occupied by Islamic State [IS]. 
On the other hand, if the shipments or parts of them were going to the Big Sandy that would be revelatory because all the hostiles in that one ARE Islamic State.
Some are survivors of the government offensive that relieved Deir al-Zor and the Euphrates west bank and others are the result of busing after surrender in western Syria.
The US insists that it does not support IS, but if there are shipments from Al-Tanf to the Big Sandy this claim would be markedly weakened. PL
If worst comes to worst the U.S. can always try to blame the Israelis, whose medicine was in the shipments, for a 'foul-up.' But Brigadier F.B. Ali (Rtd), a longtime contributor at SST, wrote in the comment section what much of the world outside the United States already knows:
"The US insists that it does not support IS...."
But it supports the Saudis and Jordanians who, in turn, support the IS. The US claims may be sufficient for their people and many in the West, but they don't fool anyone in the rest of the world.
The US is probably quite aware of that; it just doesn't care what the rest of the world thinks or believes. That, however, was OK in the past, but is no longer so. With Russia and China providing another power centre, it does matter what the 'rest of the world' thinks of the West.
A lot of people in the world are just fed up to here with these stupid games that the West has played, and is playing, mostly in their lands. There will be a price to pay for this, and soon!
I have seen reports about direct American support for Islamic State in Syria (here's one from the BBC), and I hadn't known Jordan's regime was supporting IS, though if Brig. Ali says it's so, in my book that makes it so.

As to how the 'international community' is reacting to buzz about U.S. support for Islamic State -- it's a funny thing about that community; from Canadian Patrick Armstrong's Russian Federation sitrep for SST on May 3:
And, in Yalta, the International Economic Forum attended by people from 71 countries (last year 26 countries, the year before 13.) A somewhat larger chunk of the "international community" that we hear so much of from FUKUS and friends, isn't it?
Which is to say another international community is growing, or the quasi-official one is shrinking. Either way, there are increasing concerns from many quarters about American actions abroad. And of course -- of course -- Americans will be left holding the bag, not the EU, not NATO, not the GCC, not Israel, not .....

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