"... But unity within the Istanbul operations room frayed when the Turks and Qataris began to support Islamist fighters they thought would be more aggressive.... The Turks and Qataris insist they didn’t intentionally support the extremist group Jabhat al-Nusra or the Islamic State. But weapons and money sent to more moderate Islamist brigades made their way to these terrorist groups, and the Turks and Qataris turned a blind eye.
“The operations room was chaos,” recalls one Arab intelligence source. He says he warned a Qatari officer, who answered: “I will send weapons to al-Qaeda if it will help” topple Assad. This determination to remove Assad by any means necessary proved dangerous. “The Islamist groups got bigger and stronger (see Something gave (part II) above) and the FSA day by day got weaker,” recalls the Arab intelligence source.
The Saudi effort was run until late 2013 by Prince Bandar bin Sultan, at that time head of Saudi intelligence. Bandar was enthusiastic but undisciplined, adding to the chaos. Pushed by the United States, the Saudis in February replaced Bandar and gave oversight of the Syria effort to Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef. The program was less chaotic but no more effective in checking the rise of Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State...."
Friday, October 3, 2014
Something gave (part I): “I will send weapons to al-Qaeda if it will help” topple Assad
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 1:09 PM