On October 7, Israel was attacked by Hamas, an armed Palestinian resistance group inside Gaza. The group killed 1,405 people, and kidnapped over 200 in Israel. Hamas was a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, a global terrorist organization which is outlawed in many countries, but not in the U.S., UK or Germany.
U.S. President Donald Trump said that the Muslim Brotherhood should be designated a terrorist organization in the U.S., and Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, brought two bills to the Senate, but he did not have support because of the Democrats under pressure from President Joe Biden. Why would the U.S. fight terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq, while supporting a global terrorist network?
The answer is, that the U.S. uses terrorist groups when it is in their interest. Military experts explain that you need fighters for a war, and if you can’t get a Congressional order to send U.S. troops to a battlefield, then you use what assets you have on the ground.
The U.S. utilized the Muslim Brotherhood fighters in Syria, and partnered with the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to rig the election which brought Mohamed Morsi to power. This is why the U.S. will never outlaw the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S.; because they are useful.
However, in Gaza the Muslim Brotherhood are not useful to U.S.-Israeli interests, so they must be eradicated.
Syria regime change
U.S. President Barack Obama developed and engineered a plan for regime change in Syria. The plan was put into motion in March 2011 when armed men, masquerading as peaceful protesters, began a gun fight with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in Deraa. The Al Omari Mosque in Deraa was used as a weapons storehouse by militants who has smuggled arms from the U.S. military base in Jordan. The U.S. military had excess weapons confiscated in the U.S.-NATO attack on Libya, which had been allocated to the terrorists in Syria by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Obama was sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood and had ties to them, though he was not a member. The closest assistant to Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was Huma Abedin, who was from a family with high-ranking ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Obama knew that he couldn’t get backing for U.S. troops to invade Syria to overthrow the Assad government, so he turned to his associates across the U.S., the Muslim Brotherhood, who organized the “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) from Muslim Brotherhood members and sympathizers in Syria and Turkey. Once the force was formed with commanders who had defected from the SAA, then the Obama administration began their work supporting the FSA with weapons, cash for paychecks, supplies and training through the covert CIA program “Timber Sycamore”, which was finally shut down in 2017 by President Donald Trump.
Senator John McCain
Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and former veteran of the Vietnam war, became the biggest supporter of the FSA, and lobbied Congress successfully for the armed group to receive additional weapons including anti-tank missiles, TOW.
McCain became so enamored of the FSA, he made an illegal trip into Idlib, Syria to meet with their general, Selim Idriss, and to sit with their commanders. McCain came under fire once his travel photos were posted by his office online, because one of the men he posed with was identified by kidnap victims as their captor in a highly publicized case when the FSA had kidnapped a large bus load of travelers on a religious pilgrimage.
McCain’s illegal trip to Syria flew in the face of McCain’s anger at Mexican migrants illegally crossing the border into America. McCain entered Syria illegally, without any visa, exactly mirroring the Mexican migrants.
A Syrian Christian citizen of the U.S. had been videoed confronting McCain publicly when she told him the FSA were slaughtering Christians in Syria, and they were not the ‘freedom fighters’ he proclaimed them to be. In 2014, the FSA attacked and killed the Armenian Christians at Kessab, Syria on the Turkish border. The quaint village has never recovered, and was reduced to a near ghost town.
The Free Syrian Army
The U.S. military advisors had warned that the weapons the U.S. was sending to the FSA in Syria could potentially end up in the hands of Al Qaeda. That is exactly what happened. The FSA proved to be a very weak, and ineffective fighting force against the SAA, which was a national army conscripted from every male over 18 in Syria who is not enrolled in a university.
The FSA lost battle after battle, until they put out a call to their brothers-in-arms, Al Qaeda, who immediately came pouring in the country from Turkey, which was a transit point for international terrorists on their way to fight jihad in Syria.
Obama’s goal was to replace President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus with a malleable Muslim Brotherhood politician, like what Obama had accomplished successfully in Egypt with the U.S. rigged election that put Mohamed Mursi in office, who was a Muslim Brotherhood card-carrying member.
Obama was faced with a dilemma once his FSA had morphed into Al Qaeda. How could he continue to support them through Congressional approval? He got around that predicament by continuing to call them FSA, even though that group no longer existed.
Idlib under the Muslim Brotherhood
The final ‘rebel’ held territory in Syria is Idlib, a small province sandwiched between Latakia and Aleppo, and whose only resource is olive trees and agriculture. But, it sits strategically on the Turkish border, and Turkey continues to support and defend the terrorists in Idlib. Turkey is ruled by President Erdogan of the AKP party, and they are aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Idlib is controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, under the command of Mohamed al-Julani, who is a Syrian that fought against the U.S. in Iraq with Al Qaeda, and an associate of ISIS leader Mustapha Baghdadi. The plan was for Julani to leave Iraq, go to Syria and set up an ISIS branch there, but instead Julani set up his own terrorist group in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, which became the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria. Their extreme brutal tactics in Syria against civilians got them listed as an outlawed terrorist group, and this created a dilemma for the U.S. How could they continue to fund and support a terrorist group? The Obama administration simply re-branded the group as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. A simple name change kept the funding, defense and support for the terrorists flowing from Washington, DC through their ally Turkey.
Every humanitarian truck passing from Turkey to Idlib is unloaded, warehoused and distributed by the terrorists. Julani built a large and modern shopping center, Al Hamra, in Idlib which sells the excess humanitarian aid from the UN and other international aid organizations which was withheld from civilians because they are not aligned with Julani and his terrorist group. If you complain about the fact Julani and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham refuse to allow women and girls to participate in education programs offered by international aid groups, you will be off the list of receiving aid, and be forced to buy the basic items you need with U.S. dollars.
Julani became a star when he took off his war clothes, and wore an Italian silk suit and tie. The occasion was a high-level American media interview, in which Washington was trying to sell the western audience on supporting Julani, while he held 3 million civilians in Idlib as human shields.
The world is watching Gaza, and the contrasts between Gaza and Idlib are striking. In Gaza the U.S. has an aircraft carrier and war ships offshore to support the Israeli Defense Forces, and in Idlib the Biden Administration is supporting the terrorists who hold 3 million civilians hostage.
Steven Sahiounie is a Syrian American award-winning journalist based in Syria. He is specialized on the Middle East. He has also appeared on TV and radio in Canada, Russia, Iran, Syria, China, Lebanon, and the United States.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Titanic Lifeboat Academy or its Board of Directors.