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Friday, July 27

Has anyone told Trump the Middle East believes US supports Islamic State and al Qaeda in Syria?

Mass funeral for victims of Islamic State's sneak attack in Suweida, Syria, which killed at last count 240 civilians 


The rumors have been circulating in the Middle East for many months and continue no matter how many IS positions the U.S. claims to bomb in Syria. Islamic State's surprise attack on civilians in Sweida Governorate is adding more fuel to the rumors, the locus of which is the American base in al-Tanf. 

Thus we have this July 26 headline from Iran's FARS:     

Syrian Military Expert: US Gathering ISIL in Al-Tanf for Training
[...]
The Arabic website of Sputnik news agency quoted retired [Syrian] General Ali Maqsoud as saying that the US has turned al-Tanf region in Syria into a center to recruit and train thousands of ISIL terrorists. He blamed the US for ISIL's recent attacks against Suweida, and said Washington wants to prolong its military presence in Syria [by claiming] ISIL still holds some power in the country.
[...] 
From Wikipedia's article on Al- Tanf base
At the end of December 2017, the chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov said that the US garrison at al-Tanf was fully blocked by Syrian government forces; he also said that the US was using the base as a training facility for ex-ISIL militants.(15)(16) [Russian-language sources]
However, that is not the same as saying that the U.S. is training Islamic State fighters.

Moving along we have this item from the Syrian military's analysis of the IS raid in Suweida, as reported by Elijah J. Magnier on July 26:
5. ISIS benefitted from the US safety parameter [55 km] around its military base at al-Tanaf, preventing Syrian and Iraqi armies from breaking into this parameter to pursue ISIS when needed. ISIS took advantage of the US measures and used the area to cross [to] the north where there is the bulk of its forces. Moreover, ISIS knew the US is not willing to eliminate its strength and presence in Syria (northeast in al-Hasaka province) and used this decision to its advantage.
Magnier goes on to note:
There is no doubt that many circumstances helped ISIS cross unnoticed by the continuous US presence in the air over al-Badiya, which monitors every single movement on the ground (US twice hit a Syrian force breaking the safety perimeter minutes after the raid.)
That last is damning because the Syrian force in the area was trying to reach the location of the massacre as fast as possible. At the least it evidences that the U.S. command at Al Tanf put its agenda before the welfare of the Syrian people.

And so the rumor mill in the Middle East grinds on.

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