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Division 30, also known as the New Syrian Forces, was created by the United States as part of a propaganda campaign to counter the fact virtually all of the mercenaries in Syria have gone over to the Islamic State.
On May 8 Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced 90 mercenaries had begun training with the Pentagon and would be trained at camps in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan. “These trainees are recruited, they’re vetted, and only then are they put into training,” Carter said. In early July two-thirds of the Division 30 mercenaries, including the groups’s commander Nadim al-Hassan, were captured in Syria north of Aleppo by Jabhat al-Nusra fighters.
Jabhat al-Nusra is described by the corporate media as an al-Qaeda affiliate sworn to take down the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. In June, 2014, the group reportedly pledged allegiance to ISIS at Albu Kamal on the Syria-Iraq border.
The leader of al-Nusra, Abu Mussab al-Makdessi, said the ISIS fighters “remain our brothers” and the “ideological bond between us is stronger than anything. We are ready to fight by their side … our blood is their blood.”
Late Saturday it was reported seven members of Division 30 were released by al-Nusra and it was hoped Nadim al-Hassan would be released soon.
The Division 30 statement described al-Nusra as “brothers” and went on to declare the Pentagon trained group is on the “same page with all holy warriors in Syria.”
Division 30 represented the last “vetted” non-jihadi mercenary group fighting to overthrow al-Assad in Syria. In November the Syrian Revolutionary Front handed over bases and weapons to Jabhat al-Nusra in the Idlib province.
“The Free Syrian Army and the Syrian National Council, the vaunted bulwarks of the moderate opposition, only really exist in hotel lobbies and the minds of Western diplomats,” Ben Reynolds wrote in November. “There is simply no real separation between ‘moderate’ rebel groups and hardline Salafists allied with al-Qaeda.”
“Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of,” The New York Times reported in April 2013.
The fate suffered by Division 30 demonstrates that the United States is not sincerely interested in forming a viable, non-jihadi paramilitary group in Syria. Division 30 was in effect a propaganda tool used to give the impression there are secular rebels in Syria dedicated to overthrowing al-Assad.
The game plan now calls for the establishment of a no-fly zone in northern Syria under the ruse of protecting civilians. On August 11 the prime minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu, called for a no-fly zone that will prevent Syria from conducting air raids against ISIS and other assorted radical Salafist groups. Russia and Iran have vowed to oppose the establishment of a no-fly zone over sovereign Syrian territory. Instead of a no-fly zone the United States and Turkey have agreed to establish a de facto “safe zone” along the Turkey-Syria border.
The Washington Post reported on July 26:
The agreement includes a plan to drive the Islamic State out of a 68-mile-long area west of the Euphrates River and reaching into the province of Aleppo that would then come under the control of the Syrian opposition. If fully implemented, it would also bring American planes in regular, close proximity to bases, aircraft and air defenses operated by the Syrian government, and directly benefit opposition rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
As previously noted, there are virtually no moderate mercenary groups inside Syria.