Just as America’s presence in Syria was becoming increasingly awkward and unsustainable, al-Baghdadi has again emerged – just in time to remind the global public that ISIS is still an enduring threat that will require America’s continued presence in the region.
'With US-backed militants having already reached the full extent of their gains on the battlefield and now facing incremental but inevitable defeat – the US appeared to be out of time and out of options.
Then suddenly – as if on cue – Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – alleged leader of the so-called “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” (ISIS) was resurrected after US claims he had died years early, and provided the US with the perfect pretext to militarily intervene in Syria anyway.
A July 2014 BBC article titled, “Isis chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appears in first video,” would claim:
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Islamist militant group Isis, has called on Muslims to obey him, in his first video sermon.Baghdadi has been appointed caliph by the jihadist group, which has seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria.
The sudden wave of violence unleashed by ISIS across Iraq and Syria was on such a scale that only state sponsorship could have accounted for it.
Creating the Perfect Enemy
In fact – the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) as early as 2012 had even noted a Western and Persian Gulf-led conspiracy to create what it called at the time a “Salafist” [Islamic] “principality” [State] precisely in eastern Syria where ISIS would eventually find itself based.
The DIA document would explain (emphasis added):
If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).
On clarifying who these supporting powers were, the DIA memo would state:
The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.
The goal had been to further isolate the Syrian government in aid of Washington’s ultimate goal of overthrowing Damascus. When growing numbers of extremists failed to do this, the US then used the presence of ISIS as a pretext for a revised version of the direct military intervention Russia had thwarted just a year earlier.
For one year the US posed as fighting ISIS while simultaneously seizing Syria’s oil fields and building an army of militants it had hoped to use to both push ISIS into Syrian government-held territory, and with which to fight the Syrian government itself.'
Read more: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi: Washington Couldn’t Create a More Convenient Villain