by Eric Zuesse
Yemen’s independent Al Masdar News headlines on Monday December 7th, “U.S. Backed Syrian Opposition Official Calls for the Extermination of Alawites,” and Leith Fadel reports that:
A prominent official from the U.S. backed Syrian Opposition has called for the extermination of Alawite [Syrian Shiite] Muslim villages after a series of defeats at the hands of the religiously diverse “Syrian Arab Army” (SAA) in the month of November. …
‘Abdullah Al-‘Ali – a former Aleppo-based attorney who has since moved to Turkey, where he works alongside the President of the Syrian National Council, Khaled Khoja, … advises followers and friends in the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to carry out deliberate sectarian attacks against Syria’s large Alawite Muslim population, which is also contrary to the message the Syrian National Council has attempted to spread to the western world about its secular nature.
“Exterminating Nusayri (derogatory term that is directed towards Alawites) villages is more important than liberating the Syrian capital,” says Abdullah Al-‘Ali. … Al-‘Ali’s sectarian post seems to be tolerated by his counterparts in the Syrian National Council as several members liked his message.”
Al Masdar News had previously been in the news itself during the 2011 Arab Spring demonstrations in Yemen against the Shiite President Ali Abdullah Saleh, when the newspaper’s photographer was killed by Saleh’s troops. The newspaper is strictly nonpartisan and opposed to all sectarianism.
A sectarian, pro-Sunni, newspaper owned by Sunni Qatar, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, bannered on December 2nd, “Syrian activists: Destroying Assad means destroying Islamic State group,” and reported that, “Many Syrian activists are frustrated by the UK debate on bombing the Islamic State group in Syria and feel that the cause of the problem, Assad, is being ignored completely.” Qatar’s royal family, the Thanis, have been major donors to jihadist groups, all of which are Sunni. The newspaper quoted a Sunni group saying that the West needs to concentrate upon destroying “the roots of the problem that allows IS to flourish: Assad and his atrocities.”
On November 18th, a U.S. Defense Department press briefing in Baghdad proudly announced the first U.S. bombing of ISIS oil tank trucks carrying Iraqi and Syrian oil stolen by ISIS, for sale in other countries, and announced:
This is our first strike against tanker trucks, and to minimize risks to civilians, we conducted a leaflet drop prior to the strike. … It says, ‘Get out of your trucks now, and run away from them. … Warning: airstrikes are coming. Oil trucks will be destroyed. Get away from your oil trucks immediately. Do not risk your life.’
Russia had already bombed, during the prior month and a half, thousands of such ISIS black-market oil trucks, and didn’t warn the people who were driving them.
ISIS is one of the many Sunni jihadist groups that are fighting in Syria to oust from power the secular Shiite Bashar al-Assad.
On November 24th, Michael Morell, Obama’s CIA Director during 2011-2013, explained on the PBS Charlie Rose show, “We didn’t go after oil wells, actually hitting oil wells that ISIS controls, because we didn’t want to do environmental damage, and we didn’t want to destroy that infrastructure.”
By contrast, the U.S. bombings in Syria have been directed against Syria’s infrastructure, including power stations that are in the territory still held by Bashar al-Assad’s forces. No one who was bombed in those anti-Shiite attacks was warned in advance.