By Walid Shoebat
The Syrian rebel group Harakat al-Hazm, one of the White House’s most trusted “moderate” militias fighting President Bashar al-Assad collapsed Sunday and has now joined Al-Nusra Front, a branch of Al-Qaeda. But the story it gets even worse. The goods from the “moderate” group passed along to Al-Nusra a large cache of TOW (wire-guided anti-tank) missiles. Al-Nusra did not waste much time posing for pictures in front of boxes with the U.S.’ insignia carrying the sophisticated missiles.
It is not clear how many TOW missiles the militants of Jabhat Al-Nusra were able to seize, but their photos depicted dozens of boxes in their possession.
Now operations like the following will be in the hands of Al-Qaeda:
This operation for example, was done by the U.S. supported and funded Hazm group with the same shouts of “Allahu Akbars” by Al-Qaeda and ISIS.
Hazm is one of several dozen Syrian rebel groups that have received US anti-tank Tow missiles and training in the past and has been described as the “poster boy” for the moderate opposition at a time when attention is focused sharply on Isis. But other elements of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), such as Fursan al-Haq, still receive discreet American support.
“People are misrepresenting this as Hazm being the last of the moderates,” said independent analyst Malik al-Abdeh. “It was like a boy band created by Simon Cowell – a dream team of moderates put together by the US and others working with it. But people don’t really care that much about them.”
Now the US policy towards Syria has suffered a new blow with the dissolution of the Hazm movement, its favoured and best-known rebel group – raising tough questions about Washington’s strategy and limiting its future options.
Will it ever become obvious that supporting any Muslim groups, when it come to the “Terrorist Richter Scale”, they all look the same?
From Washington’s point of view, the timing of the Hazm collapse was bad, coinciding with the long-awaited start of a US-sponsored training programme for moderate rebels in Turkey. The plan is to train and equip a new force as part of a broader plan to develop ground forces needed to defeat Isis. The US worked with Saudi Arabia and Jordan to develop the plan. Qatar has also joined the program.
Now the US has said that 1,200 Syrian rebels from “moderate” factions have already been “screened” and “vetted”. But again, it is the same “screening” and “vetting” they did with Hazm.