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US-Backed 'Moderate' Rebels 'Take US Weapons and Money But Hate America'

© AFP 2023 / FADI AL-HALABIRebel fighters fire towards positions of regime forces in Ramussa on the southwestern edges of Syria's northern city of Aleppo on August 6, 2016
Rebel fighters fire towards positions of regime forces in Ramussa on the southwestern edges of Syria's northern city of Aleppo on August 6, 2016 - Sputnik International
Rebels from the US-backed Free Syrian Army appear to have kicked a group of US special operations forces out of a Syrian border town, calling the fleeing Americans "infidels" and "crusaders." This incident, experts say, shows that groups Washington persists on calling "moderate" are in fact "mercenaries" and "fanatics."

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"The subgroup that did this supposedly is Ahrar al-Sham, which is a really nasty piece of work. It is as Wahhabist, as radical, as violent as [al-Nusra Front] or [Daesh]," former US diplomat Jim Jatras told RT.

Interestingly, Washington blocked Moscow's initiative to add Ahrar al-Sham, who often conducts joint operations with al-Nusra Front, to the UN Security Council's terrorist list, claiming that they are in fact moderate rebels and should be treated as a legitimate opposition to the government in Damascus.

"I don't see any evidence that there are any [moderates in Syria]," Jatras said. "What you have is a variety of Wahhabist terrorist groups some of which are maybe slightly less terrorist than others but I don't know how you measure that exactly. Who are the moderates? Where are the moderates?"

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The video showing US special operations personnel abruptly leaving the Syrian town of al-Rai surfaced on Friday. US troops were deployed to the region at the request of the government of Turkey to accompany the Turkish military and what the Pentagon described as "vetted Syrian opposition forces" in their operation aimed at freeing the area from Daesh.

American soldiers apparently received a chilly welcome from the rebels.

"These are the kind of people we have been supporting here and every once in a while we see their true colors, just as we saw in Benghazi, just as we saw in other countries where we support jihad terror groups and then we are shocked to find out that they have this really hostile and violent ideology," he added.

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Sara Flounders, head of the International Action Center, also recalled the 2012 Benghazi attack that saw Islamists killing US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans at the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

"Looking at this video certainly reminds us of what happened to US Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Libya and his whole unit in 2012, when they were executed by the very fanatical forces that the US had brought to life in order to pull down the government of Libya," she told RT.

Flounders referred to groups that the US "has helped to create, bring to life, arm and fund, recruited and trained through Saudi Arabia, Israel, Kuwait and Turkey" as "mercenary and fanatical forces" that hate the US "even if they're taking US arms and money." They are "fanatics who have no program for Syria and at the same time completely hate the US."

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The activist also said that no US-backed rebels in Syria were moderate.

"None of the forces that the US has armed are called 'moderate forces.' They are contending and competing groups engaged in looting Syria and also with no program for the people of Syria," she said.

Flounders was also critical of the US' foreign policy in the Middle East, saying that Washington "is really trying to spread complete chaos in the region and sectarian divisions."

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