In Secret Deal Trump Allowed ISIS Fighters Safe Passage Out of Raqqa

When the Islamic State was allegedly purged from the self-professed caliphate’s de facto capital Raqqa, it was really big news and celebrated as a hard-fought victory for Syria and the American-led Western coalition. In fact Trump claimed ISIS “gave up” because he is the president.  But according to a seriously “deep report” by the BBC, that so-called victory was Raqqa’s “dirty secret” as well as flagrantly “fake news”  to conceal the truth that Trump’s America was complicit in protecting ISIS fighters as they escaped unharmed; all the while threatening citizens they would be back stronger than ever.

Trump likes to talk like he’s a real badass, but as the world has witnessed, he’s all talk; bloviate bullies typically are. It is why he threatens North Korea’s version of Trump with annihilation at home and then wonders if everybody can’t just get along when he’s in Asia. Now it is crystal clear Trump is all talk about his favorite bad guys in ISIS. It leads one to wonder why the media, Republicans and Trump’s moronic followers are not demanding answers; especially when America and the rest of the world is threatened.

Most Americans likely remember that during the campaign, and even after his poorly-attended inauguration, Trump pledged to exterminate the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, IS, Daesh) including killing their friends and families. However, according to “the secret pact” between ISIS, Syrian Defense Forces (SDF) and the American-led coalition; ISIS fighters in the caliphate’s capital were allowed to depart unmolested including being given protection and an escort to ensure free passage to wherever they intended to regroup and plan their return.

Kevin Drum over at Mother Jones wondered why there was little attention given or a demand for answers from Trump about a confirmed BBC comprehensive report on the “secret deal” America participated in to aid ISIS fighters to escape unharmed with their substantial arsenal. They certainly did not suffer what Trump and his Defense Secretary pledged was complete annihilation. Aiding ISIS fighters’ exodus to new territory is contrary to Trump’s claim throughout the presidential campaign and something Jim Mattis promised in May. Besides promising that “no fighter would ever escape annihilation,” Defense Secretary Mattis said:

Our intention is that the foreign fighters do not survive the fight to return home to north Africa, to Europe, to America, to Asia, to Africa. We are not going to allow them to do so.”

Not only did America “allow them to do so,” a few hundred ISIS fighters, a few thousand ISIS fighters’ families, ISIS leaders, and their heavy weapons were allowed to leave Raqqa. And they were allowed to leave with America’s blessing including being lovingly shepherded to safe havens; coalition warplanes and drones observed and escorted the dreaded ISIS fighters and tons of weapons to safety.

The first big lie was that only a “few dozen” ISIS fighters were given safe passage to preserve the lives of Iraqi, Kurdish and SDF fighters in a battle for the city. However, American and British observers on the ground said the exit convoy was six to seven kilometers (3.5 to 4.5 miles) long and included almost 50 trucks, 13 buses and more than 100 of the Islamic State’s own vehicles. And despite the claim that it was just a couple dozen ISIS fighters carrying “only” their personal weapons, there were “at least 10 trucks loaded with heavy weapons and ammunition.” So much ammunition, in fact, that drivers pointed out one truck that had to be scrapped because “Its axle was broken because of the weight of the ammo.

As the BBC noted, the American-led coalition’s secret plan was not an evacuation of the dreaded ISIS, it was a coalition-assisted exodus of the Islamic State fighters replete with their weapons to relocate, regroup and plan the caliphate’s return. Unfortunately, those “local” ISIS fighters and their weapons were allowed to relocate to Turkey, Kurdistan, and within Syria where they can kill more innocents and coalition forces with special attention to Americans. The ISIS fighters were livid at America for bombing them into an agreement to leave their de facto capital to take their extremism across the region.

After the BBC investigation was made public, the “coalition” had no choice but to admit that it did play an important role in the deal that was “alleged” to be all about the Syrian Defense Force. A spokesman for the American-led coalition, “Operation Inherent Resolve,” said they “didn’t want anyone to leave” because total annihilation was the big plan. But the “secret plan” America approved was allowing a few hundred “IS fighters” and about 3,500 of their family members to leave Raqqa with escorts. Colonel Dillon said:

This goes to the heart of our strategy, ‘by, with and through’ local leaders on the ground. It comes down to Syrians – they are the ones fighting and dying, they get to make the decisions regarding operations.”

The issue now is that those same Syrians, and Turks, Iraqis, Kurds, and Americans will be fighting and dying again when the ISIS fighters regroup and return as they pledged as they were leaving Raqqa. The BBC report noted that the Syrians did not want the “coalition covered retreat” to appear like an escape to victory for ISIS or to give the appearance that any foreign fighters escaped. But foreign fighters from France, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Yemen,  Saudi Arabia, China, Tunisia and Egypt didn’t even have to pretend to escape: they were allowed to leave and take their extremist ideology, and their heavy weapon cache with them. And they were allowed to leave with assistance from Americans so concerned with their safe exodus that American warplanes dropped flairs to light the four-mile long convoy’s way through the desert during the night.

It is noteworthy to mention that the ISIS fighters who were allowed to escape Raqqa are the same Baathist fighters who were chased out of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq to form the Islamic State in the first place. Now, with America’s involvement again, those fighters were allowed to escape and take their weapons with them. It is a question that demands an answer that has not been posed to Trump and it is a mystery why that is the case. The BBC report was published last week and there is no outcry from anyone demanding to know why the so-called “commander in chief,” Trump, had to have known about and signed off on the deal.

It is difficult to imagine how this “secret pact” is any kind of good news for anyone other than ISIS and the military industrial complex. It is obvious now that Trump does not want ISIS “annihilated” because he needs to keep Americans terrified as much as he needs distractions. Keeping ISIS intact also gives Trump talking points in support of his anti-Muslim agenda the next time there is an ISIS-affiliated terror attack.

Regardless of Trump’s ulterior motives, allowing “hundreds of ISIS fighters with tons of heavy armaments” to escape into friendlier territory in Syria, and find safe havens in Turkey and Kurdistan is contrary to his campaign pledge. Keeping ISIS alive to continue threatening the region also keeps American warplanes in the air and troops on the battlefield, but worst of all Raqqa’s dirty secret allows “foreign ISIS fighters” to take their bomb-making expertise, battlefield experience and extremist threat to their home countries and beyond.

The media needs to demand answers from Trump, and badger Congress mercilessly as to why they are not conducting another investigation into Trump’s administration. The people deserve to know why America aided and abetted a terrorist organization’s fighters migrate to safety to regroup and plan its return.

Image: AMNNews

Trump Aligns America With ISIS Because They Hate Iran

It is fair to assume at this juncture that nothing Donald Trump utters is the truth or has any foundation is pursuing Americans’ best interests. Over the past couple of days Americans learned that no matter what Trump says about ISIS (ISIL, IS, Daesh), it is likely not true. It became fairly obvious when he praised the Saudi Arabia provocative action against America’s ally Qatar, that there was something untoward going on with the Trump that had everything to do with starting a conflict with Iran.

After ISIS terrorists launched two attacks on Iran this week, instead of calling for a more robust and concerted effort from all the players to crush the radicals in ISIS, Trump issued what Iranian officials rightly called a “repugnantremark. Of course he would find a way to enrage the Iranians; they are a nation Trump’s new BFF Saudi Arabia hates with Wahhabi religious passion nearly as much as the Wahhabists in ISIS hates Iran.

Trump’s perilous embrace of Saudi Arabia, a nation steeped in promoting terror attacks around the world, is fundamentally aligning America with ISIS’ Sunnis. It is a dangerous sign that he is “searching for ways to turn the cold peace [with Iran] into a hot war.”  A hot war with Iran is something Trump’s National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Defense Secretary James Mattis are intent on provoking, and one no small number of Republicans and Israel would love to see begin sooner rather than later.

Trump revealed his ‘warming’ on ISIS this week when after going crazy over the ISIS-inspired attacks in Manchester and London, inciting a vicious Twitter rant, he spent time Tweeting his trip to Cincinnati after ISIS launched two attacks in Iran. A pair of attacks that killed 17 and wounded scores of innocent Iranians and tourists. It is noteworthy that Iran has been fighting tooth and nail against ISIS since its inception, but instead of embracing, even tepidly, what should be a “de facto ally” in the effort to stamp out a terror-driven group of maniacs, Trump made a “repugnant” remark implying that Iran got what it deserved from Saudi Arabia’s friend and ally ISIS.

Alternet’s Jefferson Morley explained that what Trump is doing is putting America in the middle of a long-simmering religious civil war among competing Islamic factions to provoke a war with Iran. Morley stated, “His [Trump’s] method – commit the United States to take sides in the long-standing political struggle between the Sunni and Shia traditions of Islam.” Apparently Trump wants America at war with Iran so badly that he is willing to take sides in a Muslim religious conflict not unlike George W. Bush did in Iraq.

For all intent and purposes, Trump is following in George W. Bush’s footsteps that aided in the creation of ISIS in the first place. Saddam Hussein’s regime was aligned with Sunni Muslims that America helped drive out of Iraq into Syria to become ISIS. In doing so, Bush elevated the Iran-backed Shias in Iraq that enraged Saddam’s Baathists to create ISIS in Syria and further disrupt the region in their attempt to take back Iraq. It is never a good idea to become involved in a centuries-old religious war between rival factions and yet Trump is doing just that; all to provoke a conflict with Iran.

In his “repugnant” slight against Iran, Trump implied that every nation that suffers ISIS-inspired terror attacks are “states that sponsor terrorism.” He said in a statement about the two terror attacks in Tehran:

We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.”

What Trump is not-so-subtly implying is that the people killed and injured in ISIS-inspired attacks in Manchester, Paris, New York, San Diego  and London all fell victim to “the evil they promote;”  because they are “states that sponsor terrorism?” Seriously, those are Trump’s words, not this author’s.

It is also noteworthy that Iran is not a state sponsoring terrorism, but Saudi Arabia certainly is. In fact, since 2000, over “95 percent of terrorist casualties worldwide have been inflicted by Saudi-influenced militants.” Trump’s reason for a policy embracing Saudi Arabia, and by extension its cohort in ISIS against Iran, is based on a lie that Iran is a terrorist state.

Trump is working hard to instigate another conflict in the Middle East by aligning America with Saudi’s theocratic dictatorship and “its international brigade of Sunni foot soldiers, known as ISIS.” Remember, ISIS militants adhere to, and are devotees of, the Saudi fundamentalist Wahhabist Islamic tradition that “abhors Shiism, hates democracy and forbids women’s rights;” something Iran supports. Experts on Islam claim that “ISIS loathes the [Shia] heretics of Iran even more than it despises the infidels of the West.” And, since Trump wants to start a war with Iran, he is embracing ISIS by supporting its greatest sponsor Saudi Arabia.

Trump claimed, and continues claiming, that his close ties and embrace of Russia is to enlist their aid in a concerted war effort to defeat ISIS; that is a blatant and filthy lie. Iran has been battling ISIS as long as America or the Syrian government, and yet Trump is aligning America with ISIS’ primary sponsors, Saudi Arabia because the Wahhabist Saudis hate the Iranian Shias as ardently as ISIS. This is not a secret and something Trump and his anti-Iran hawks have known for years.

America is already mired in several wars in the Middle East, but none of them involve Iran and it is something Israel, no small number of neo-con Republicans, the military-industrial complex, and Saudi Arabia are hoping Trump can deliver. He took a big step towards handing warmongers the conflict they’ve lusted after since George W. Bush first invaded Afghanistan, and then Iraq, but it is questionable if they believed Trump would embrace ISIS until now.

Whether Trump’s base or his Republican cohort like to hear it or not; when Trump aligned America with the ISIS-sponsoring Saudi Arabia because they both hate Iran, he did more than just “give ISIS a pass.” He embraced them along with their greatest supporter Saudi Arabia and all but guaranteed America’s involvement in yet another Middle East war.