Too good to check: Syria greenlit U.S. raid on Al Qaeda capo?

posted at 4:55 pm on October 28, 2008 by Allahpundit

Coordinating with the Zionist crusader against the glorious mujahedeen? Bashar, you cad.

Ronen Bergman, author of The Secret War with Iran, makes the claim in the Yediot Ahronoth newspaper, based on briefings with two senior American officials, one of whom he says until recently “held a very high ranking in the Pentagon”…

The Syrians were unwilling to be seen publicly bowing to US pressure to tackle the group, he says, but in the end gave the Americans the green light to do so themselves.

He claims the Syrian government told the Americans: “If you want to do this, do it. We are going to give you a corridor and carte blanche. We will not harm your troops.”

Mr Bergman maintains Syrian intelligence has been co-operating secretly with its US counterpart for some time in its war with al Qaeda.

How curious, Bergman goes on to note, that a raid in broad daylight would attract no resistance from Syrian anti-aircraft installations. Not sure I buy it — it seems just as likely that it’s opportunistic spin designed to drive a wedge between Assad and the jihadis he hosts — but I likes it. And it’s at least facially plausible that the regime would prefer to let the U.S. do its dirty work for it and play the victim rather than take on the fundies itself and end up in some sort of protracted, sporadic counterinsurgency of the sort Pakistan’s bogged down in.

More from the AP on the why-here-why-now aspect:

Scores of people are involved in the smuggling networks, officials say. But Iraqi police held special disdain for Abu Ghadiyah, a native of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul believed to be in his early 30s.

Last May, Abu Ghadiyah led a dozen gunmen across the border and attacked an Iraqi police station in Qaim, killing 12 policemen, Iraqi police Lt. Col. Falah al-Dulaimi told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Syrian border guards prevented an Iraqi patrol from pursuing the gunmen back into Syria, the police officer said.

Sunday’s raid was launched because of intelligence that Abu Ghadiyah was planning another attack inside Iraq, a senior U.S. official told The Associated Press, also speaking anonymously because the information is classified…

Syria has been unable to keep up the pressure, in part because its government needs support from local tribes and revenue from the bribes the smugglers pay to local officials, according to the Combating Terrorism Center study.

Here’s the perfunctory condemnation by the Iraqi government, duly qualified by its demand for Syria to act against terrorists using the country as a staging ground for attacks on Iraq. Exit question: If Syria cooperated in the raid, why was state media allowed to inflame the situation by reporting on the U.S. incursion? Granted, it exculpates the government by casting it as a victim of American aggression, but it also complicates future cooperation. The next time this happens, Syrians will expect/demand a reprisal. If it doesn’t come, Assad looks either weak or complicit, not something someone in his position can afford to be.


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IF that’s true it would be beyond awesome. I don’t mind letting the jihadis believe it’s true, either way.

BadgerHawk on October 28, 2008 at 4:59 PM

If this were true, Syria wouldn’t be going through the motions in the UNSC right now.

Bunk.

Shy Guy on October 28, 2008 at 5:00 PM

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081028/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_syria_us_raid;_ylt=AnM8raiR4sJ0oFVIszKlvzELewgF

Syria ordered an American school and cultural center closed. Is it all for show?

Mark1971 on October 28, 2008 at 5:01 PM

That explains the tepid reaction by Syrian diplomats. Perhaps they are tired of jihadis, too.

Right_of_Attila on October 28, 2008 at 5:02 PM

As time goes on, Bush will be seen as a great president. The war was so complex, but this one incident shows that leaders trust his judgment and sincerity.
Will anyone acknowledge that now? No, but in ten years he will be written about in glowing terms.

right2bright on October 28, 2008 at 5:05 PM

I’m still ticked at Syria for not keeping Nancy Pelosi!

christene on October 28, 2008 at 5:05 PM

Syria now, Pakistan “tomorrow”?

right2bright on October 28, 2008 at 5:06 PM

He claims the Syrian government told the Americans: “If you want to do this, do it. We are going to give you a corridor and carte blanche. We will not harm your troops.”

You’re damn right you won’t. Sit back and enjoy the fireworks and let us deal with the political crap afterwards. Good boys.

Grafted on October 28, 2008 at 5:06 PM

Stick and carrot.

“Lookie, President Barry, we are the good guys!”

Limerick on October 28, 2008 at 5:07 PM

Never take what you see in war at face value, especially initial media reporting. The sneakiest bastard wins.

pugwriter on October 28, 2008 at 5:07 PM

Stick and carrot.

“Lookie, President Barry, we are the good guys!”

Limerick on October 28, 2008 at 5:07 PM

-SNORT- Limerick just cost me half a Mountain Dew.

*eats*

Grue in the Attic on October 28, 2008 at 5:11 PM

If this were true, Syria wouldn’t be going through the motions in the UNSC right now.

Bunk.

Shy Guy on October 28, 2008 at 5:00 PM

No, they probably would be. Nada is going to happen because of the U.S. veto.

Illinidiva on October 28, 2008 at 5:11 PM

An off-topic call to the video historians here

I just read this yahoo news item:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081028/ap_on_el_pr/michelle_obama_leno_1

Hyping a Michelle Obama/Jay leno Palin putdown:

Questioned by Leno, the potential first lady declined to criticize GOP vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin about revelations that the Republican National Committee spent $150,000 at Neiman Marcus and other high-end retailers on clothes and accessories for Palin and her family.

Obama said she and her husband have a policy of spending their own money on their clothes. But she said she wanted to be “empathetic.”

“A V.P. pick, it’s like being shot out of a cannon. All of a sudden you’re at the center of attention, and you want to look good,” said Michelle Obama, adding she has never met Palin. “You’re living in your home, minding your business, and all of a sudden you’re on the national stage and everyone’s watching.”

Anyone have video of Michelle wearing Armani?

Paul Murphy on October 28, 2008 at 5:14 PM

Anyone have video of Michelle wearing Armani?

Paul Murphy on October 28, 2008 at 5:14 PM

Read Debbie Schlussel.

Shy Guy on October 28, 2008 at 5:20 PM

You know………………. a question to ask would be, for all the success in Iraq over the past few months, why post this story now?

It’s not like the Main Stream Media have been reporting success, after success, after success?

Why now?

Seven Percent Solution on October 28, 2008 at 5:24 PM

I’m still ticked at Syria for not keeping Nancy Pelosi!

christene on October 28, 2008 at 5:05 PM

+1

Connie on October 28, 2008 at 5:25 PM

So why is Baghdad “slamming” the US? To show international unity among Mohammedans?

BL@KBIRD on October 28, 2008 at 5:25 PM

It makes perfect sense. Bush was never willing to cross Syria’s border even when they were warring against Iraq until suddenly one day a policy change.

aengus on October 28, 2008 at 5:28 PM

We will not harm your troops.

Nor could you if you tried.

Tony737 on October 28, 2008 at 5:28 PM

If it doesn’t come, Assad looks either weak or complicit, not something someone in his position can afford to be.

Unless of course he’s secretly capitulating, knowing that internal polls show McCain winning, (secretly that is) and as such, he might as well give it up already!

:)

Mcguyver on October 28, 2008 at 5:28 PM

Anyone have video of Michelle wearing Armani?

Paul Murphy on October 28, 2008 at 5:14 PM

Read Debbie Schlussel.

Shy Guy on October 28, 2008 at 5:20 PM

Schlussel is going to the mat for Palin?

Well color me surprised…. or not……
…. leave it up to an “old girlfriend” to get me to look again…and again…and again… and again.

Or was that just a Johnny Cash song?

Mcguyver on October 28, 2008 at 5:34 PM

If they didn’t take it to the UN everyone would know the fix was in. Taking it to the UN doesn’t prove anything. The US has a veto and nothing will change no matter what the UN does.

Fred 2 on October 28, 2008 at 5:34 PM

Hmmm…seems a bit precarious, though I’m sure Assad doesn’t want to end up in some underground spider hole.

CP on October 28, 2008 at 5:37 PM

If it doesn’t come, Assad looks either weak or complicit, not something someone in his position can afford to be.

This sounds like the plot line of an episode of Burn Notice. Get a bad guy into a compromising situation, so that his only option is to turn to you for help. I’d assume for now that Syria didn’t give the okay, but we’ve got someone saying they did to put Assad in a tough spot. Either he folds and gets more helpful, or he over compensates and brings down the thunder on himself. Either way, the world wins.

jbsaff on October 28, 2008 at 5:41 PM

Right jbsaff, either way, pessimism loses.

Mcguyver on October 28, 2008 at 5:42 PM

Syria gets bombed by Israel and US and they do nothing.
Why?

RobCon on October 28, 2008 at 5:43 PM

As time goes on, Bush will be seen as a great president. The war was so complex, but this one incident shows that leaders trust his judgment and sincerity.
Will anyone acknowledge that now? No, but in ten years he will be written about in glowing terms.

right2bright on October 28, 2008 at 5:05 PM

Not if the world, especially the USA, has slid far left, as in under BO.

Benjamin9 on October 28, 2008 at 5:46 PM

This is the kind of stuff that the Bush administration has excelled at in this war. The left has been calling him an idiot for eight years, and idiot Obama is the best they can do.

There is so much to loose in every area of life if Obama gets elected, but the security and safety of this country will be in complete turmoil. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the more brilliant military commanders retire if Obama is the people’s choice.

Hening on October 28, 2008 at 5:49 PM

Assad’s probably hoping Obama will get elected just so he won’t be the nerdiest-looking world leader any more.

aero on October 28, 2008 at 5:50 PM

I’m still ticked at Syria for not keeping Nancy Pelosi!

Now that’s funny….let’s roll.

ex-Democrat on October 28, 2008 at 6:02 PM

Syria gets bombed by Israel and US and they do nothing.
Why?

Um, because everytime Syria starts a war with Israel, they get their arses handed to them?

I suspect the US said to Syria, “We’re going in there. You say no, we go in there anyway. You say yes, we go in there anyway.” I doubt Syria really had much of a choice. And I suspect why it didn’t happen before is because the Americans wanted to stabilize Iraq before they headed out.

mjk on October 28, 2008 at 6:02 PM

Hmmmm….this is the third “funky” incident incident in Syria recently:

1) reactor bombed by Israel
2) Hezbulla leader M…killed in Damascas by SOMEONE
3) AQ guy kidnapped by US in the middle of the day

I’m beginning to see a pattern here. Was James Baker correct?

cab8505 on October 28, 2008 at 6:03 PM

Closet Kosher.

locomotivebreath1901 on October 28, 2008 at 6:03 PM

I suspect the US said to Syria, “We’re going in there. You say no, we go in there anyway. You say yes, we go in there anyway.”

I doubt that. Bush wouldn’t have Syria-Iraq cross border raids for years if he was capable of taking such an attitude.

aengus on October 28, 2008 at 6:40 PM

(Bush wouldn’t have ignored)

aengus on October 28, 2008 at 6:41 PM

I wonder if Assad wanted to save face, give the nod for the raid, even point to where they are, cry about it afterwards, but it was better than turning them over.

If I was a terrorist leader, that is how I would do it.

WoosterOh on October 27, 2008 at 8:09 PM

WoosterOh on October 28, 2008 at 7:20 PM

I’ll bet someone made Assad an offer he couldn’t refuse!!

And yes, such raids are entirely consistent with the Bush Doctrine (harbor terrorists and you are guilty of terrorism).

landlines on October 28, 2008 at 8:01 PM

Not sure I buy it — it seems just as likely that it’s opportunistic spin designed to drive a wedge between Assad and the jihadis he hosts — but I likes it.

…that old story about the turtle giving the scorpion a ride across the Jordan comes to mind…you can’t trust the rising of the sun or that water flows downhill in the Middle East.

…still, if it puts Assad in dutch, true or untrue, all the better.

Never take what you see in war at face value, especially initial media reporting. The sneakiest bastard wins.

pugwriter on October 28, 2008 at 5:07 PM

…hear, hear!

…the dead are the only honest men or women in a war zone…and one is advised to shoot ‘em again…just to be sure….

Puritan1648 on October 28, 2008 at 8:44 PM

Um, because everytime Syria starts a war with Israel, they get their arses handed to them?

mjk on October 28, 2008 at 6:02 PM

…don’t count on that…the latest foray into Lebanon looked as if it had be scripted by Mack Sennett.

It’s been steps down since 1967. The October War started badly…Lebanon was a slog…and there’ve been missteps and compromises — Land for peace? Has the Israeli Left been paying attention? — all over the place.

There are no givens in the Middle East. None.

Puritan1648 on October 28, 2008 at 8:49 PM

Syria is a puppet of Iran, we know this. But even it understands that with an American pull out of Iraq it means that Iraq can act on it’s own and will not stand for a gorilla invasion by Syria. And Syria also understands that if Iran attacks Iraq in retaliation for Iraqi raids into Syria, that the US will come down on Iran. Iran is no longer Syria’s protector.

- The Cat

MirCat on October 28, 2008 at 9:17 PM

He claims the Syrian government told the Americans: “If you want to do this, do it. We are going to give you a corridor and carte blanche. We will not harm your troops.”

Wouldn’t be prudent!

(I know I’m mixing up my President Bushes. Poetic license.)

theregoestheneighborhood on October 29, 2008 at 3:26 AM