Only a day after the United States launched airstrikes against alleged ISIS targets in Syria, the real reasons behind these specific targets are gradually becoming clearer. Yet, for anyone who actually thought that the U.S. airstrikes were something other than an attack on Bashar al-Assad’s government forces, the location and targets of the strikes may tell a different story if looked at closely.
For instance, as The Associated Press reported,
U.S.-led airstrikes targeted Syrian oil installations held by the extremist Islamic State group overnight and early Thursday, killing at least 19 people as more families of militants left their key stronghold, fearing further raids, activists said.
The Islamic State group is believed to control 11 oil fields in Iraq and Syria. The new strikes involved six U.S. warplanes and 10 more from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, mainly hitting small-scale refineries used by the militants in eastern Syria, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said.
RT reports further on the strikes citing Agence France-Press,
According to Agency France-Presse, strikes involved targeting an oil field in Syria administered by the Islamic State, reportedly close to positions held by the group near the towns of Al-Omar and Deir ez-Zor, journalist Zaid Benjamin reported.
The US and its partners used “a mix of fighter and remotely piloted aircraft to conduct 13 of airstrikes against 12 ISIL-controlled modular oil refineries located in remote areas of eastern Syria in the vicinity of Al Mayadin, Al Hasakah, and Abu Kamal and one ISIL vehicle near Dayr az Zawr, also in eastern Syria,” read a statement by CENTCOM.
“These small-scale refineries provided fuel to run ISIL operations, money to finance their continued attacks throughout Iraq and Syria, and an economic asset to support their future operations,” the statement continued. “Producing between 300-500 barrels of refined petroleum per day, ISIL is estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day from these refineries. The destruction and degradation of these targets further limits ISIL’s ability to lead, control, project power and conduct operations.”
Yet while the mainstream media and the U.S. government are attempting to portray the strikes against the Syrian oil refineries as a strike against ISIS, the fact of the matter is that they are a strike against the secular government of Bashar al-Assad.
Strikes Against Refineries Hurt Syria More Than ISIS
Although it is true that ISIS/ “moderate death squads” had seized control over the oil refineries in Eastern Syria and were using them for their own strategic purposes (with the help of NATO command), it is also true that, in a large portion of these areas, the SAA (Syrian Arab Army) was poised to retake control.
This is particularly the case in Dayr el Zor, where the SAA had recently launched a major offensiveagainst the death squads causing ISIS fighters trapped by aerial bombardment and escape routes cut off by the SAA. In other words, the death squads were trapped in Dayr el Zor, the city was weeks away from being liberated, and the surrounding areas were set to be reconquered by the SAA. This, of course, would have led directly to the retaking of the oil refineries by the Syrian government. Unfortunately, that opportunity has now been lost as a result of the U.S. airstrikes which destroyed the refinery infrastructure.
It should also be remembered that most of the death squads fled these areas after being given forewarning of a series of imminent American airstrikes, thus causing the civilian casualties to be higher in number than those of the ISIS fighters the strikes were allegedly targeting. Indeed, many of these fighters have appeared in Northern Syria on the Syria/Turkey border reinforcing other death squad battalions in efforts to reopen supply lines from Turkey.
Similar situations are found in the other locations mentioned as targets of U.S. airstrikes such as al-Hasakah where the SAA had made significant gains alongside Kurdish forces.
Thus, as SAA forces moved in to retake control of the oil refineries managed by terrorists funded by Western powers, the United States initiated airstrikes just in the nick of time to deprive SAA forces of the opportunity to seize some of the oil refinery infrastructure it desperately needs.
It is also important to note that virtually none of the infrastructure being destroyed by the United States airstrikes was built by ISIS. It was built by the Syrian government. The reality of the bombing campaign is that the United States and its allies are destroying important regions of Syria and leaving nothing of real value for the Syrian military to retake after its long-fought battles against ISIS.
Thus, headlines across the world should more accurately read “US Bombs Syrian Oil Refineries To Prevent Assad From Retaking Them.”
Still, one should keep in mind that it is not only the oil refineries which are being targeted but whole neighborhoods filled with civilians. One such neighborhood was the town of Kfar Daryan.
ISIS As An Oil Company?
The excuse peddled by Western governments and their lapdog media outlets to justify the bombing of Syrian oil refineries is that the goal is to disrupt ISIS oil revenue and thus break its funding. The narrative provided to the general public is that ISIS is funding itself by oil sales on the black market to the tune of millions of dollars per day. Of course, while it is most likely true that ISIS is using their commandeered oil sites to support themselves on a number of fronts, and even attempting (with some success) to sell that oil, the idea that ISIS is somehow able to evade the most sophisticated monitoring network in the entire world during the process of obtaining, refining, selling, and delivering oil across the region is entirely unbelievable.
Regardless, it must be pointed out that, among the countries listed as hosting ISIS customers by mainstream outlets like CNN, Turkey and Jordan are at the top of the list, both close American allies and one a member of NATO. Even more interesting is the fact that ISIS has also allegedly sold “black market” oil to buyers in a number of EU member states.
Yet the idea itself seems like more of a cover to mask the true nature of the funding of ISIS and other takfiri militants operating in Iraq and Syria, namely that the funding is coming from the United States, NATO, and the GCC. Like the ridiculous claims that ISIS was funding itself entirely through secretive private Twitter donations, the “oil sales” argument is one that should be taken with a healthy dose of salt. After all, mainstream outlets are also asserting that ISIS is selling some of this oil to the Syrian government, a lose-win-lose situation for both sides and a rather poor attempt to portray Assad as an ally of ISIS.
In reality, it should always be remembered that ISIS is entirely a creation of the West and that it remains fundamentally under the control of NATO and the GCC.
In the meantime, all this talk about oil refineries no doubt has Western oil companies licking their lips.
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Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor's Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius -- The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria. Turbeville has published over 300 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville's podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.