NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 30 (RIA Novosti) – British and US security agencies sponsored and empowered the Islamist extremists they are now bombing in Iraq and Syria, security analyst Nafeez Ahmed told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
"Despite expressing outrage over the rise of the Islamic State, US and British regional military intelligence agents had implemented a covert strategy of empowering and even directly sponsoring the very same virulent Islamist militants in Iraq, Syria and beyond, that went on to break away from al-Qaeda and form ISIS," said Ahmed, a scholar and author.
"Since 2003, Anglo-American power has secretly and openly coordinated direct and indirect support for Islamist terrorist groups linked to al-Qaeda across the Middle East and North Africa. This ill-conceived patchwork geostrategy is a legacy of neoconservative ideology, motivated by longstanding but often contradictory ambitions to dominate regional oil resources, defend an expansionist Israel, and in pursuit of these, re-draw the map of the Middle East."
The US, Britain and others have launched airstrikes against the Islamic State, which is also known as ISIS and ISIL, a sectarian Sunni Muslim militia of more than 30,000 fighters that controls swathes of Sunni-majority areas on either side of the Iraq-Syria border.
US President Barack Obama says IS can be defeated through US-led airstrikes and by arming and equipping Kurds, Iraqis and moderate elements of Syria"s opposition as ground forces. Critics say he lacks reliable allies, is over-reliant on air-power and has no strategy for ending Syria"s civil war.