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Jihadists Who Fought U.S. in Iraq Were then U.S.-Backed by Obama’s Administration to Topple Gaddafi
by Ezra Van Auken
Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton recently created a group called the Accountability Review Board, which was intended to un-foil and investigate the Benghazi incident, is now shedding light on some other events in Libya. According to the ARB, Libya’s revolution in 2011 brought many extremists into power. In addition, the group notes that the U.S.-backed jihadists who helped the overthrow of Gaddafi were actually some of the same forces who fought the U.S. in Iraq.
“Jihadis from Benghazi engaged in Afghanistan against the Soviets and took up arms against the U.S. forces in the post-2003 Iraq insurgency,” revealing the twisted internal affairs that U.S. officials have participated in. The report goes on to say that those same militants turned up in the Libyan revolution, looking to topple Gaddafi. ARB’s report also notes in reference to Benghazi, “It also served as the rebel-led Transitional Nation Council’s base of operations. Eastern Libya (Cyrenaica) had long felt neglected and oppressed by Gaddafi, and there had been historic tensions between it and the rest of the country.”
Ambassador Chris Stevens, the household name that became infamous after the rebel-led attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi and CIA outhouse, was one of the first representatives of the U.S. to show up in early April to Benghazi. Assigned by the State Department, “Stevens’ presence in the city was seen as a significant sign of U.S. support for the TNC (Transitional National Council) and a recognition of the resurgence of eastern Libya’s political influence”.
Ironically, the U.S. essentially supported, backed and fought with the same extremist militants that they fought against in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. This isn’t the only Middle Eastern country that officials from the Western country have gotten into twisted relationships with; the civil war happening in Syria is showing the same element of rebels.
As SLN reported in June, the New York Times published accounts by an unknown Arab intelligence official who explained that the CIA was on Turkey’s Southeastern border funneling weapons into Syria for the rebels to use against Assad. The problem with this method was that the CIA wasn’t exactly sure whose hands the weapons would fall into. Come to find out months later, al-Nusra, an offshoot rebel group to al-Qaeda, has gained a lot of attention and power since the uprising started.
McClatchyDC.com commented on al-Nusra, “Not only does the group still conduct suicide bombings that have killed hundreds, but they’ve proved to be critical to the rebels’ military advance. In battle after battle across the country, Nusra and similar groups do the heaviest frontline fighting. Groups who call themselves the Free Syrian Army and report to military councils led by defected Syrian army officers move into the captured territory afterward.”
Since U.S. officials have learned about Nusra’s ruthless tactics, they’ve declared the group a “terrorist organization”. Although, that has only backfired on officials after tens of rebel groups pledged support under the al-Nusra banner and told the U.S. to stay out of the entanglement.