The “spymaster” of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), considered a key moderate Syrian rebel group, has accused the CIA of “ignoring” detailed intelligence since 2013 that could have prevented the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).
According to various news outlets, the intelligence included GPS coordinates of the terrorist group’s leaders and strongholds.
The Telegraph reports:
Free Syrian Army agent says his agents have been providing the US agency with GPS positions of its leaders and headquarters but the US has failed to act. … The Free Syrian Army’s spy chief insisted proper use of the intelligence his agents provided from within Isil’s ranks, and often at grave risk to their life, could have critically damaged the jihadist group on several occasions.
Daily Mail adds:
The CIA has ignored crucial intelligence since 2013 from within ISIS ranks that could have helped prevent its rise, a Syrian rebel spy chief has claimed.
The Free Syrian Army spy boss said he had been sending reports to his CIA contacts for more than two years that included GPS coordinates, ISIS movements, photographs and phone numbers.
The spy chief spoke to the French newspaper Le Monde in Turkey. He was identified only as “M” for safety reasons.
“From the moment Daesh [the Arab acronym for ISIS] had 20 members to when it had 20,000, we have shown everything to the Americans,” he told Le Monde. “When we asked them what they did with this information, they always gave evasive answers, saying it was up to their decision-makers.”
The FSA was originally formed in July 2011 by a group of defected Syrian Armed Forces officers and soldiers. It received support from Britain and the U.S. for its moderate stance.
The so-called “spymaster” reportedly provided Le Monde photographs of a training camp in Syria’s northern province of Latakia that was visited regularly by foreign ISIS jihadist.
“Naturally I transmitted this to my Western contacts with the GPS coordinates but had no response,” the FSA spy chief reportedly said. “Agents of mine also managed to get hold of phone numbers of [ISIL] officials, serial numbers of satellite equipment and IP addresses. But once again, zero response.”
Under a CIA program, FSA fighters received anti-tank missiles in 2014 and were trained on their use in Qatar.
“In the summer of 2014, while [ISIL] besieged Mosul in Iraq, ‘M’ helped devise a secret plan presented to the Americans to rout [ISIL] from northern Syria on the Azaz-Alep line,” The Telegraph notes. “The plan was detailed street by street, hour by hour, and included the precise itinerary of fighters and their refueling points.”
“In every village held by Daesh, knew the number of armed men, where their offices and hideouts were,” the spy told Le Monde. “We had located snipers and mines, we knew where the local emir slept, the color of his car and even the brand. From a tactical and strategic point of view, we were ready.”
Nevertheless, he added that the Americans failed to act.