In an interview published by the National Interest yesterday, Sergei Lavrov insisted that the U.S.-led “anti-terrorism” coalition in Syria “never touched” Islamic State oil convoys, which helped to finance the spread of terrorism in the region.
Lavrov also dismissed the idea that al-Nusra has broken off into “moderate” subsidiaries, and said the terrorist organization “already twice changed its name, but it never changed its sponsors who continue to pump money and whatever is necessary for fighting into this structure”.
Finally, some honesty from a diplomat:
What I can attest to is that one year into the creation of this [U.S.-led] coalition, it was very sporadically using the air force to hit some ISIL positions. They never touched the caravans who were smuggling oil from Syria to Turkey and, in general, they were not really very active. This changed after we responded to the request of President Assad, who represents, by the way, a legitimate government member of the United Nations.
After we joined, President Vladimir Putin and President Barack Obama spoke in New York in September 2015, and President Putin clearly told him that we would be doing this and we were ready to coordinate, and they agreed to have these deconfliction discussions, which did not start soon actually, not through our fault.
But when we started working there the U.S.-led coalition became much more active. I don’t want to analyze the reason for this. I’m just saying before we moved there with our air force, the U.S. coalition was very rarely hitting ISIL positions and almost never hitting the positions of Jabhat al-Nusra, which many people believe has been spared just in case at some point they might be needed to topple the regime.
And this feeling, this suspicion, is still very much alive these days, when Jabhat al-Nusra already twice changed its name, but it never changed its sponsors who continue to pump money and whatever is necessary for fighting into this structure. And people know this.
I put myself in the shoes of those who were criticizing us for hitting wrong targets. You remember, there was so much criticism. So the deal we reached with Kerry, when none of us could strike unless the other supports, was solving this problem. And the fact that the Pentagon just disavowed what Kerry did, and Obama could not overrule the Pentagon, meant for me only one thing: that he, the president of the United States, Barack Obama, was motivated by the desire to have some revenge on Russia, for whatever reason and for whatever situation, rather than to capitalize over the deal reached between John Kerry and us, to make the war against terror much more efficient in Syria. But let God judge him.
Washington’s high tolerance for ISIS oil convoys and head-choppers is well documented. Syrian President Bashar Assad has repeatedly described the U.S.-led coalition’s “efforts” in Syria as “cosmetic”.
That’s a very nice way of saying that they occasionally bombed a sand dune while Islamic State drove cheap, delicious oil across the border into Turkey.
In conclusion: Obama is a blood-soaked weasel. (We hope there’s a Hague in hell that actually enforces international law.)