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Assad’s Ally Arrested

3:15 PM, Aug 17, 2012 • By LEE SMITH
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The American intelligence community knows very well that the Assad regime consorted with Sunni terrorist groups, including al Qaeda affiliates. Damascus International Airport served as a transit hub for foreign fighters making their way across the border to Iraq to fight American troops. It hardly comes as any surprise, then, that some Sunni fighters, including al Qaeda, have turned against the regime and are now making war against it. But given Samaha’s arrest, with what confidence can the White House claim that all the bombings in Syria attributed to al Qaeda are the work of jihadists, rather than the regime itself, furthering Samaha’s narrative?

The Obama administration fears that supporting the Free Syrian Army might inadvertently assist al Qaeda, which the administration’s actions suggest is the major strategic issue in the Middle East. After all, the Obama campaign boasts that killing Osama bin Laden is the president’s major foreign policy achievement. Toppling Bashar, however, and thereby weakening Iran and cutting off Hezbollah’s supply lines, is not that important. 

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