Recent reports have claimed some of the so-called "moderate" Syrian rebels that would receive money and weapons under this plan have agreed to a "non-aggression pact" with ISIS. It's possible that, despite the president's best intentions, weapons sent to Syrian rebels could find their way into the hands of ISIS -- and be used to target Americans.By most reliable accounts, one group, Sons of Golan, associated with the Free Syrian Army, that had been waging a heroic and hard fought campaign to rid an area near Damascus of ISIS agreed to a 24 hour truce so that both sides could remove their dead from the battlefield and bury them, after which the battle between the two forces resumed. This led to widespread reports in the western anti-war movement that the Free Syrian Army generally had concluded, in words design to invoke memories of the opportunistic agreement made between Hitler and Stalin, a "non-aggression pact" with the extreme jihadist group ISIS in Syria.
Based on a single unverified source, this story is being spread like wildfire by groups that hitherto have shown little concern for the 200,000 Syrians that have died in the last three years as a result of dictator Bashar al-Assad's vicious attempts to cling to power. For example VoteVets included this language in petition opposing the Syrian people's struggle against the Assad regime:
VoteVets cannot support sending arms to Syrian rebels that many reports continue to suggest are still fighting alongside some of the same groups we fought against in Iraq, and are even reportedly entering into truces with ISIS.And Just Foreign Policy said in their Congress call-in campaign:
Congress is expected to vote soon on a controversial proposal to arm and train Syrian rebels. Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have expressed opposition. With recent reports that some so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels this proposal seeks to arm have signed non-aggression pacts with ISIS, as in the past, now is not the time to rush into a policy whose consequences remain so unknown.The Putin mouthpiece RT ran with this headline:
While the openly right-wing WND put it this way:
ISIS and moderate Syrian rebels strike truce…
The militants of Islamic State have reportedly struck a deal with moderate Syrian rebels not to fight each other and focus on toppling the government. Some reports say the deal was brokered by the Al-Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda branch in Syria.
None of these reports noted that the FSA and other forces allied to defeat the Assad regime have been the only groups fighting ISIS in Syria for the past year. They didn't mention that at all.
'Moderate' Syrian rebels sign truce with ISIS
While the Obama administration works to coordinate aid to the Syrian rebels, moderate and Islamic Syrian rebels reportedly just signed a first-of-its-kind non-aggression pact with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, according to a monitoring group.
All of these stories have one source, a 12 September Agence France-Presse report:
The Daily Beast got the real story, and reported that these false reports:
Syria rebels, IS in 'non-aggression' pact near Damascus
Syrian rebels and jihadists from the Islamic State have agreed a non-aggression pact for the first time in a suburb of the capital Damascus, a monitoring group said on Friday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the ceasefire deal was agreed between IS and moderate and Islamist rebels in Hajar al-Aswad, south of the capital.
Under the deal, "the two parties will respect a truce until a final solution is found and they promise not to attack each other because they consider the principal enemy to be the Nussayri regime."
are easily disproved by evidence that ISIS and the moderate rebels are still fighting each other in that region, according to rebel commanders on the ground and activists supporting the Syrian opposition.It's no secret that Putin's Russia has long supported Assad's bloody campaign to stay in power. They have supported it with bombs and bullets so it should surprise no one that RT also supports it by spreading the vilest lies against his opposition. Likewise extreme right-wing and fascist forces from around the globe have supported it in a similar manner, so we know where WND is coming from. But why are these so-called "progressive" and "anti-imperialist" groups so ready to spread the same pro-Assad propaganda against the forces fighting for democracy in Syria without the slightest attempts at fact checking?
“The only report we have received on anything resembling a ceasefire was that ISIS and Sons of Golan, an FSA brigade outside Damascus, halted fighting for 24 hours to collect bodies before hostilities resumed. However, this report also confirms that there is substantial fighting between the two groups that is leading to fatalities,” said Mohammed Alaa Ghanem, director of government relations for the Syrian American Council, a Washington NGO that works with the Syrian opposition and the FSA. “It is fantastical to think that rebels outside Damascus would expend lives and resources to rout ISIS from the Damascus suburbs; besiege the group for over a month; wait until two days after Obama announces he will aid the rebels to fights ISIS; and then sign a deal with ISIS (the first ever) while the group was besieged in its last holdout.”
The Syrian American Council collected public statements from several of the rebel commanders on the ground near Hajar al-Aswad, the town where the supposed ceasefire was reported to take place. All of the rebel leaders on the ground issued statements to deny the report, according to the group.
“The threat of ISIS is omnipresent across Northern Idlib and is a threat to the Syrian people, the region, and the international community at large,” said Jamal Maarouf, the head of the FSA-linked Syrian Revolutionaries’ Front, in a statement. “SRF remains committed to combating the terrorist threat of ISIS wherever it may be found in order to liberate the Syrian people from all threats, whether foreign or domestic.”
Realistically there isn't much IS presence in Hajar al-Aswad, if any. Or SRF for that matter. This "truce" story is probably disinformation.
— valerie szybala. (@vszyb) September 14, 2014
Clashes reported between opposition forces & ISIS fighters in Hajar al-Aswad amid regime shelling. #Damascus #Syria
— Paradoxy (@Paradoxy13) September 14, 2014
News that there is an agreemnt between Daesh and rebels in Hajar AL Aswad has been reported by #SOHR only. I have not an official doc #Syria
— yalla souriya (@YallaSouriya) September 13, 2014
Scenes from the ongoing clashes between opposition forces & ISIS in Hajar al-Aswad, #Damascus RT @Johnyrocket69 http://t.co/odq2YwHHiU
— Paradoxy (@Paradoxy13) September 5, 2014
@Charles_Lister Fighting has reportedly erupted today between the rebels & ISIS in Hajar al-Aswad, ceasefire is no more.
— Paradoxy (@Paradoxy13) September 13, 2014