With Allies Like Turkey and Saudi Arabia, Who Needs Enemies?
September 13, 2014 • 8:32AM

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flew from Saudi Arabia to Turkey on Friday to confer with more of the Obama Administration's so-called "allies" in the war against the Islamic State. According to a Washington source, it was the United States that leaked the fact that the Saudis will be hosting training camps for the "vetted" Syrian rebels who will be fighting against the Islamic State and the Assad government simultaneously. The idea was to hold Saudi feet to the fire, given that there is "zero trust" between Washington and Riyadh, and it is notoriously well-known that the Saudis have been major suppliers of cash and weapons to the IS jihadists. Turkey, according to the source, is even more deeply in bed with IS.

According to a just-completed U.S. intelligence community study, IS now has an estimated 31,000 combat fighters in Iraq and Syria. Furthermore, through robberies of Iraqi central banks and weapons arsenals and through the black market sale of oil, the group has amassed an estimated $1 billion to fund their expanding operations. An estimated 1,000 Turkish recruits have crossed into Syria and Iraq in the past six weeks, often coming to fight out of financial motive rather than ideology. According to the Washington source, the black market oil is being sold by IS in Turkey and at least $100,000,000 in IS loot is stashed in cooperating Turkish banks—all tied to the ruling AKP of President Erdogan. The source emphasized that, while the top leadership of the party and the country are not necessarily in on the Turkish support for the Islamic State terrorists, mid-level AKP officials are backing the group, and Turkish intelligence—MIT—has been cooperating with IS since the group first surfaced in Syria.

The idea that the Saudis are going to be providing training camps for the Syrian rebels is a sure-fire guarantee that the rebels will be more closely allied with IS and Al Nusra Front than with the West.