On September 23rd, the US and some members of the GCC (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Qatar) bombed terrorist targets in Syria.

The stated goal aim was to destroy the Islamist State’s centers of command.

The strikes were, for the most part, launched from the Persian Gulf against the city of Raqqa. Yet, the Islamic State had retreated from there two days earlier, continuing its advance and tearing through some twenty Kurdish Syrian villages along the way.

It seems that the real objective was not the Islamic State, but another entity branded by US intelligence as the “Khorasan group”. Khorasan is the medieval name for Afghanistan and part of Iran. Five days ago, the head of US intelligence, James Clapper, mentioned this group for the first time, asserting that it comprised former combatants from Afghanistan, and that it was recruiting jihadists in Syria to bring its fight to Western soil.

The existence of this group hasn’t been corroborated by any other source. According to the New York Times (quoting the State Department), it’s leader, Muhsin Al-Fadli (pictured), was supposedly implicated in the 9/11 events (that the US attribute officially to Bin Laden). The name of Muhsin Al-Fadli was brought up in 2005 by president George W. Bush, whom he blamed for the terrorist attack against the French oil tanker Limburg in Yemen (which was, in fact, a US sanction against the violation of an embargo) [1].

The Russian Federation has denounced the violation of Syria’s sovereignty; however, the US press affirms that the raid was carried out with the knowledge and acquiescence of Syria’s Ambassador to the UN Bachar el-Jafari and the Syrian opposition in Paris (regarded as the legitimate representation of the Syrian people).

Alizée Ville

[1U.S. Suspects More Direct Threats Beyond ISIS”, Mark Mazzetti, Michael S. Schmidt and Ben Hubbard, The New York Times, September 20, 2014.