- Confirmed: US Retrains ISIS and ISIS-Like Jihadists in East Syria and Re-Brands Them ‘Democratic Forces’
by Andrew Illingworth, https://www.almasdarnews.com/
BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:00 A.M.) – Clear-cut evidence has emerged that the United States is retraining jihadist militants – most of them surrendered ISIS members as well as fighters of other militant groups with an ideology similar to that of ISIS – in east Syria and re-branding them as ‘democratic forces.’
After many, many months of complaints by Russian military and diplomatic authorities that US advisor forces in Syria’s east were retraining ISIS and ISIS-like militants, a video (shown above) released by the Deir Ezzor-based opposition media outlet Euphrates Post has confirmed it.
The video is the centerpiece in a puzzle of otherwise vague information that has been leaked about US intelligence activities in east Syria over the last year. It should be made clear that the Arab fighters in the video above do not belong to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) proper, but rather a lesser known off-shoot militia called the Deir Ezzor Military Council (DMC).
DMC forces are – unlike the SDF – the project of the US Department of State and the Central Intelligence Agency, separate from Pentagon initiatives and bureaucratic processes.
Fighters of the DMC are on the Department of State payroll (i.e. individuals receive a paycheck) which technically makes them US-vetted mercenaries instead of just ‘US-backed fighters’ (that implying military support from US military agencies only). The history of DMC forces prior to their re-flagging under US initiatives is interesting. Most DMC fighters fall into two categories:
1. Syrian rebels or Euphrates tribesmen who merged into ISIS ranks during the terrorist group’s takeover of the Deir Ezzor region in 2013-2014 and then later surrendered to the SDF.
2. Jihadists of the Al-Qaeda affiliate group Jabhat al-Nusra (as it was called at the time) who battled government forces in Deir Ezzor until 2014 and were later expelled from the region by ISIS (after refusing to join ranks) and then absorbed by US intelligence in Jordan.