IS Files Reveal Assad's Deals With Militants


**IS Files Reveal Assad’s Deals With Militants

Islamic State and the Assad regime in Syria have been colluding with each other in deals on the battleground, Sky News can reveal.

Our exclusive investigation into leaked secret IS files suggests one piece of co-operation was over the ancient city of Palmyra.

The files also show that the militant group has been training foreign fighters to attack Western targets for much longer than security services had suspected.

The revelations underscore fears in the United States that a network of sleeper cells is spread across Europe, avoiding detection, and is planning further Paris- and Brussels-style assaults.**

IS defectors, meanwhile, have told Sky News that Palmyra was handed back to government forces by Islamic State as part of a series of cooperation agreements going back years.
New letters obtained by Sky News, in addition to the massive haul of 22,000 files handed over last month, appear to confirm this.

They show:

:: An agreement with the Syrian regime to withdraw IS weapons from Palmyra.

:: A deal between IS and Syria to trade oil for fertiliser and;

:: Arrangements to evacuate some areas by Islamic State forces BEFORE the Syrian army attacked.

All appear to be pre-agreed deals and suggest direct evidence of collusion between the Syrian regime and Islamic State chiefs…
The most interesting document was written shortly before the Syrian army recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra, after months of occupation by IS.

“Withdraw all heavy artillery and anti-aircraft machine guns from in and around Palmyra to Raqqa province,” the document says.

I asked one of the defectors if Islamic State was coordinating movement of its fighters and leaving areas they previously controlled, in direct coordination with the Syrian army and even the Russian airforce.

His answer was simple. “Of course,” he said.
Terror experts asked to analyse the documents say they show this is arguably the most complicated war they have ever tried to make sense of.

“This is a war of perception and narrative and everyone is trying to manipulate events,” said Dr Afzal Ashraf from the think tank Royal United Services Institute.

“It may take 20 years before what we know exactly what is going on,” he added. "Almost certainly there will be some sort of communication going on between mortal enemies, and that is for short term tactical gains and losses.


Is this similar to the Nazi-Soviet Pact?


Perhaps in a way. Assad’s greater concern seemed to be the non-ISIS rebels in the north and west; some of which were Al Quaeda related and some of which were not. That’s who Russia was bombing. As near as I can tell, Russia (and Assad) never really did attack ISIS. Could be one of those temporary marriages of convenience between Assad and ISIS that won’t really last if the non-ISIS rebels are totally defeated.


Seems like Putin isn’t much better than Obama when it comes to selling out his own military and civilian people. ISIS took out a large, loaded Russian airliner remember and
shot down a fighter jet killing the pilot. So was that called “friendly fire”? How did he get sucked in with Assad and company? What does Syria have that Putin wants?

The culture that drives this psycho blood-fest is too nuts to exist in 2016.


Turkey shot down the fighter jet, not ISIS. Turkey, your friendly NATO ally.


Likely Putin’s ambition is realized, at least for now. He has enhanced his access, military presence, and influence in the region. What he might have wanted but did not get was psychological dominance over Turkey like he has been doing with other NATO countries. His planes were overflying Turkish territory; Turkey warned the Russians about it, Russia kept doing it, and Turkey shot one down. Erdogan is not Obama.

Russia never really did engage ISIS.

closed #7

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