Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Keith Preston: US anti-terror forces defecting to ISIL

My recent interview with PressTV.

Listen here:

The forces trained by the United States to fight against terrorist groups like ISIL are increasingly “defecting to the other side,” says a political analyst from Virginia.

Keith Preston made the remarks when asked about a report that an ISIL militant, who calls for terrorist attacks against the United States in a new online video, was trained on American soil by the Blackwater mercenary firm.

According to officials, Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov, a former head of Tajikistan’s special forces, attended counterterrorism courses as part of a program sponsored by the US State Department.

In his online video, Khalimov appears in black ISIL clothing with a sniper rifle and a bandolier of ammunition, claiming that he attended programs on American soil three times.

The United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia have been recruiting people “as a weapon against the Shia, against Iran, against other forces that resist American hegemony in the Middle Eastern region,” Preston, chief editor and director of Attack the System, told Press TV on Sunday.

“What the United States is trying to do in the ‘war on terrorism’ is recruit people from throughout the Middle East and Central Asia as an anti-terrorist force, and what they’ve done is make a common cause with these various tyrannical states that exist in that part of the world,” especially Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates, he said.

“They try to recruit these nations as partners in this war on terrorism and they have brought people from these regions to be trained as an anti-terrorist force through institutions like Blackwater,… a private mercenary force that operates in collusion with the American government,” the analyst noted.

Preston said the latest case involving Colonel shows the US strategy against ISIL has failed.

“These kinds of forces are defecting and they are essentially joining the other side,” he explained. “Now you have the spectacle of anti-terrorist fighters that were trained by the American forces that are actually defecting now and going over to ISIL.”

The ISIL terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control large parts of Iraq and Syria.

The US plans to finish the training of 3,000 militants in Syria by the end of 2015 and an additional 5,000 by next April, according to the Pentagon.

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