Declassified US Documents Shed Light on the Syria/Iraq Crisis

Last May the organization Judicial Watch obtained through a Freedom Of Information Act lawsuit a cache of US government’s declassified documents.

Two documents in particular struck my attention.

One is a document produced by the Pentagon. This document shows that by October 2012 the Obama administration was aware that arms from Libya were being shipped to the opposition in Syria. In particular,

Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s, and 125 mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.

During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the ((Qaddafi)) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amount of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo.

Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 3.25.13 PM(click on the picture to go to the full document)

The second document is by the Defense Intelligence Agency. It reveals two important facts.

One is that by August 2012 the Obama administration was aware that Al Qaeda in Iraq and other extremist groups were leading the Syrian uprising. An uprising publicly supported by the West and its regional allies.

Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 3.37.48 PM(click on the picture to go to the full document)

Another is that the Obama administration (and other foreign backers of the Syrian opposition) foresaw the possibility of the establishment of a Salafist principality astride Syria and Iraq and actually welcomed such a development as a counterweight to President Assad forces in Syria. This was in August 2012, that is two years before the Islamic State came into being!

Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 3.41.55 PM(click on the picture to go to the full document)

I believe that these declassified documents should make people rethink what they thought they knew about US involvement in the Syria and Iraq crises.

Follow me on Twitter @Eugeniolilli

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3 comments

  1. lenrosen4

    There is no doubt that U.S. intelligence intercepted lots of documentary evidence arising out of the destabilization of Libya, Syria and Iraq during and after the Arab Spring. In isolating these documents from all of the metadata that must have passed through CIA hands one wonders if much of it got buried.

    The destabilization of Syria is inextricably linked more to Iraq than Libya. The 2003 invasion which I called a mistake from the outset did exactly what I predicted in a letter to the editor of the New York Times that I wrote a week before the U.S. launched its offensive against Saddam Hussein. I predicted the breakup of Iraq into three factions largely at odds with each other and the drawing in of eastern Syria and its destabilization. I also predicted that Iran would exert its influence in Southern Iraq in support of its Shia brethren and would ultimately become a power broker in any future settlement.

    What I got wrong was that Assad would hang on. I though the ophthalmologist was smarter than what he has shown. He should have cut and run but in trying to hang on he condemned his country turning it into the mess that we see today.

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  2. Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing this information with the public. This may just prevent Hilary Clinton from winning the Democrat Presidential Bid in 2016; let alone, the final race.

    Like

    • eugeniolilli

      Thanks for your message.
      Clearly my interest in sharing these documents is completely unrelated to the incoming US presidential elections. In fact, one of the major lessons I learned by researching on US Middle East policy is that Democratic and Republican administrations have long followed exactly the same policies to defend the same interests in the region. A new president, no matter the color, is unlikely to change much.

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