(VitalNews.org) – Russia remains embroiled in its war with Ukraine, but the conflict has had far-reaching and unanticipated consequences. A year ago, the Kremlin believed a short, decisive offensive would bring Ukraine under its control. Now, in a February 13 Newsweek report, the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation (SVR) is accusing the US of secretly sponsoring terror attacks to thwart Russian objectives.
The SVR claims the US is working with several Middle Eastern terror organizations, including the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, covertly recruiting and training jihadists to attack Russian and allied targets in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) network. Specifically, the SVR mentioned a US base in al-Tanf, Syria, as a training outpost.
The Foreign Intelligence Service claimed that in January, 60 "terrorists" were selected and were training at the U.S. al-Tanf base in Syria. https://t.co/cX9AjJpwxK
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) February 13, 2023
The SVR said the US selected 60 alleged terrorists who were receiving training at the Syrian base in January. In a statement, the agency claimed the US planned to deploy small groups of radicals in Russia and CIS nations. The statement indicated the cells would target “diplomats, civil servants, law enforcement officers and” armed services personnel.
Newsweek contacted the Pentagon for a response to SVR claims but had not received one at the time of publication. However, in a November article in the Sandboxx, a US veteran-supported news publication, writer and military analyst Steve Balestrieri provided background on the US al-Tanf base.
Balestrieri explained that the al-Tanf base provides a tiny but important foothold in otherwise hostile Middle Eastern territory. The US allied with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) of mixed Arab and Kurdish groups during the Syrian civil war fighting against the Islamic State, Iran, Turkey, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who allied with Russia in 2015.
US Special Forces and the CIA assisted in training SDF forces at the base in al-Tanf, established in 2016 for that purpose. Balestrieri said that since the Russians pulled the Wagner Group from the area, Iran has taken a more active lead in raids, hoping to use drones to attack Israel. Still, al-Tanf lies on the road between Iran and the border between Syria and Israel, and the analyst noted that Israel recently angered the Kremlin by accusing Russia of war crimes against Ukraine.
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