Newly-declassified US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) documents from 2012:
THE SALAFIST [sic], THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, AND AQI ARE THE MAJOR FORCES DRIVING THE INSURGENCY IN SYRIA.
AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq, which became ISIS: “ISIS, once called AQI”] SUPPORTED THE SYRIAN OPPOSITION FROM THE BEGINNING, BOTH IDEOLOGICALLY AND THROUGH THE MEDIA…
…OPPOSITION FORCES ARE TRYING TO CONTROL THE EASTERN AREAS (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), ADJACENT TO THE WESTERN IRAQI PROVINCES (MOSUL AND ANBAR), IN ADDITION TO NEIGHBORING TURKISH BORDERS. WESTERN COUNTRIES, THE GULF STATES AND TURKEY ARE SUPPORTING THESE EFFORTS.
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…
Now for some definitions:
The Salafi movement is often described as being synonymous with Wahhabism, but Salafists consider the term “Wahhabi” derogatory. At other times, Salafism has been described as a hybrid of Wahhabism and other post-1960s movements. Salafism has become associated with literalist, strict and puritanical approaches to Islam – and, particularly in the West, with the Salafi Jihadis who espouse offensive jihad against those they deem to be enemies of Islam as a legitimate expression of Islam.
In recent years, Salafi methodology has come to be associated with the jihad of extremist groups that advocate the killing of innocent civilians [though not all Salafists can be stereotyped under this umbrella].
A principality (or princedom) can either be a monarchical feudatory or a sovereign state, ruled or reigned over by a monarch with the title of prince or by a monarch with another title within the generic use of the term prince.
Thus, what the documents say the Western powers and their collaborators want, a “Salafist Principality” in Easter Syria, is an Islamic monarchical state. It should be no surprise that the US/West want this, as they are allied with so many Islamic dictatorships (ie the Gulf States and Turkey, as noted above).
The strictest sect of Salafism:
Wahhabism (Saudi Arabia)
Wahhabism is a more strict, Saudi form of Salafism, according to Mark Durie, who states Saudi leaders “are active and diligent” using their considerable financial resources “in funding and promoting Salafism all around the world.” Ahmad Moussalli tends to agree with the view that Wahhabism is a subset of Salafism, saying “As a rule, all Wahhabis are salafists, but not all salafists are Wahhabis”.
Saudi Government is funding to increase the Salafi Islam throughout the world. Estimates of Saudi spending on religious causes abroad include “upward of $100 billion”, between $2 and 3 billion per year since 1975 (compared to the annual Soviet propaganda budget of $1 billion/year [and US government/corporate propaganda budgets of many billions per year]), and “at least $87 billion” from 1987–2007.
Its largesse funded an estimated “90% of the expenses of the entire faith“, throughout the Muslim World…
“Books, scholarships, fellowships, mosques” (for example, “more than 1,500 mosques were built from Saudi public funds over the last 50 years”) were paid for. It rewarded journalists and academics, who followed it and built satellite campuses around Egypt for Al Azhar, the oldest and most influential Islamic university. Yahya Birt counts spending on “1,500 mosques, 210 Islamic centres and dozens of Muslim academies and schools”.
This financial aid has done much to overwhelm less strict local interpretations of Islam, according to observers like Dawood al-Shirian and Lee Kuan Yew, and has caused the Saudi interpretation (sometimes called “petro-Islam”) to be perceived as the correct interpretation – or the “gold standard” of Islam – in many Muslims’ minds.
While the Western powers and their collaborators may want a Salafist Principality in Eastern Syria, they, mainly the US, are openly supporting the most extreme Salafist, missionary state in the world: Saudi Arabia.
The US has been supporting Saudi Arabia since oil was discovered there around the 1930s.
The US is the world’s biggest arms trafficker. The biggest arms sale of the world’s biggest arms trafficker was to the Saudi dictatorship, approved by Obama in 2010:
Barack Obama to authorise record $60bn Saudi arms sale
Biggest arms deal in US history…
The US is the world’s largest arms supplier…
Amnesty reported that, contrary to US gov and media propaganda, the Saudi regime got worse under the last dictator (who recently died), and is getting even worse now under new US-backed dictator Abdulaziz, with Saudi Arabia committing dozens and dozens of beheading/crucifixions, taking the lead in confirmed state executions worldwide.
2009 US documents leaked by Wikileaks revealed Hillary Clinton stating that Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest source of funding for Sunni terrorist groups.
Abdulaziz himself, the top of the Saudi dictatorship, is said by al Qaeda to be one of their sources of funding and support.
Unlike Iran, Saudi Arabia not only does not renounce nuclear weapons (US intelligence does not even say Iran is pursuing them; in fact far from it), but Saudi officials promise never to renounce nuclear weapons, or even negotiate about nuclear weapons, which Iran has agreed to do numerous times, with the US always cancelling the negotiations, as Obama has done before, and did again this week: “US Kills Nuclear Free Mid-East Conference“.
Indeed, Saudi Arabia just announced its intentions to go nuclear, a prospect that has long been known to all.
None of this prevents the US from making its biggest ever lethal arms sale to the dictatorship, or selling them almost a billion dollars worth of banned cluster bombs in 2013, which HRW reports are now being used in the US-coordinated/assisted Saudi aggressive war against Yemen, from which the US refuses to rescue its own civilian nationals, unlike eight other countries including Russia, China, and India, which have performed rescue missions.
To be fair, the US has performed rescue missions in Yemen… for Saudi bombers.
For those interested, here is a four page, point by point analysis of the declassified DIA docs.
Author’s research focuses on global force dynamics. He also writes professionally for the film industry. His articles have been noted by professors, scholars, student-groups, and other independent researchers.