Provocation and the Islamic State: Why Assad Strengthened the Jihadists

A very interesting article arguing the existence of a crucial role for Bashar Assad and his Russian-trained intelligence services in the birth and growth of ISIS, in pursuit of an “arsonist and fireman” strategy. That is, create a problem, then put yourself forward as essential to its solution, thus convincing America to act in service of a Syrian and Iranian goal — the survival of the Assad regime. h/t John Schindler.

The Syrian Intifada

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on September 3, 2014

An opposition poster showing Assad and the Islamic State as two sides of the same coin An opposition poster showing Assad and the Islamic State as two sides of the same coin

On August 25, Bashar al-Assad’s Foreign Minister, Walid al-Muallem, said: “Syria is ready for co-operation … to fight terrorism.” The week before Assad’s PR guru, Bouthaina Shaaban, told CNN that an “international coalition,” including Russia, China, America, and Europe, should intervene to defeat I.S. in Syria.

Back in March I wrote a long post laying out the evidence that the Assad regime was deliberately empowering then-ISIS, now the Islamic State (I.S.), helping it destroy moderate rebels and even Salafist and Salafi-jihadist forces, with the intention of making-good on its propaganda line that the only opposition to the regime came from takfiris,

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