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Syrians fought in Iraq were under Intelligence scope: documents

(Zaman Al Wasl)- An 
'confidential and immediate' document issued by to the Syrian intelligence revealed how Bashar al-Assad's regime was tracking the Syrian jihadists who fought in Iraq during the American invasion in 2003.

 The document issued on June 29, 2016, shed the light on movements of the Syrian jihadists who went to Iraq. It proves and confirms that the regime intelligence was aware of all details about this file and the people involved in it and did not nothing to stop them.

The documents come as part of a series of intelligence documents obtained Zaman al-Wasl.

The regime turned a blind eye to their actions and perhaps facilitated the movements content with observing them and gathering information about them perhaps for liquidation or detention later on in the event they survive the fighting in Iraq. Perhaps the regime wanted to trade their file to open up channels of communication and conduct trade-offs with major countries with the United States at the head of the list. The United States which repeatedly accused the regime of supporting and facilitating the passage of fighters to Iraq whereas the regime denied the issue.

The document reveals with glory and conscious phrases that cannot be paraphrased that the regime intelligence was dedicatedly following the files of those it calls, “Syrian persons who left the Syrian territory to fight in Iraq against the American forces.” It focused in particular on those belonging to “religious groups and tariqa.”

It is interesting that the document came as a response to a prior document where the Idlib intelligence branch office lists the names of those from province involved in the fighting in Idlib, meaning the regime knew about them, and all that was required by the head of Palestine intelligence branch was to determine their membership in a religious tariqa nothing more.

The document from the head of 235 branch (Palestine Branch) to the Idlib's intelligence branch asks the other to follow up on the file of those involved in the fighting in Iraq and draw up lists of the names of offshoot that they belong to without any indication that there is a need to follow them, question them or arrest them. The document reaffirms the view that the regime supports the file and that the regime used Syrians eager to defend Iraq as a card to pressure the United States at the start and as a card to compromise with the United States at the end. Between the beginning and the end was the part of those involved in the fighting being used as gas in the process to polish up and present al-Assad as “a fighter steady fast against extremism and terrorism” especially before the Americans and as “a fundamental support for the resistance and jihad against the Americans” before the people of the areas especially Syrians and Iraqis.

-Countering and Sponsoring-

The document being issued from Palestine branch gives other evidence and meaning about the depth of the document, it reveals that this branch in particular was not concerned with fighting terrorism and extremism, except when those posed a threat to the regime. Regarding what benefits the al-Assad regime, supports it position, and can be thrown into others’ faces as reaping benefits it is terrorism and extremism that is taken care of, disciplined and under the observation of the regime intelligence.

The document reiterates a reminder about a document leaked by WikiLeaks and translated by Zaman al-Wasl going back to 24-02-2010 concerning an American delegation meaning with the Syrian deputy minister of foreign affairs which was attended by Ali Mamlouk, Head of the National Security Office who was then 
the general Director of the State Intelligence.

The American embassy in Damascus indicated in that telegram what Mamlouk described as, “30 years of Syrian experience in fighting terrorist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood,” proud that the regime intelligence had been more successful than its American counterpart, “because we are practical, we are not theoretical,” according to him.

“Mamlouk suggested that his intelligence succeed because they managed to infiltrate terrorist groups.” He clarified, “in principle we do not purposefully attack them or kill them immediately, but we plant our agents within them and then move at the ideal moment.”

Mamlouk described planting agents as a complicated operation indicating that it led to the arrest of tens of terrorists and prevent hundreds of terrorists from entering Iraq. He continued, in all ways we will continue this work, but if we begin cooperating with Washington we will achieve better results and we will be able to better protect our interests.

Mamlouk repeated the mention about the intelligence’s ability and the wealth of information that the intelligence possesses based on their infiltration of terrorist organizations to summarize with, “we have plenty of experience, we know these groups, this is our area and we know it, and because we must also take the helm in these things.” He meant the regime should take the helm in any intelligence cooperation between Damascus and Washington.

During his meeting with the two Americans, Mamlouk claimed that foreign fighters are sneaking into Iraq, coming from Arab and Muslim countries and that Syria arrested “a large number of them in addition to the Syrians who are facilitating their tasks.”

All of the documents aforementioned connect in some way with a secret telegram dated on August 25, 2007 where the American embassy in Damascus raises a detailed report about the visit of Nouri al-Maliki, the former Iraqi Prime Minister, to Damascus and his meetings with Bashar al-Assad and  number of regime officials.

 The telegram reports that Bashar told al-Maliki during their meeting that major threat for both Iraqis and Syrians in extremism and despite the increase in the number of extremists they do not exceed the thousands, “which makes them within the boundaries of our intelligence apparatuses able to discipline them and control them.”

Zaman Al Wasl- Ethar Abdul Haq
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