Executive Intelligence Review


Veteran Intelligence Professionals Strongly Warn President Not To Back Al Nusra in Idlib

Sept. 10, 2018 (EIRNS)— The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) Steering Group issued a public Memorandum Sept. 9 warning President Donald Trump that Moscow has “upped the ante in Syria,” and is engaged in a full-out campaign to take back the Al Nusra/al-Qaeda/ISIS-infested province of Idlib. They write:

“The Syrians will almost certainly succeed, as they did in late 2016 in Aleppo. As in Aleppo, it will mean unspeakable carnage, unless someone finally tells the insurgents theirs is a lost cause. That someone is you.”

The VIPS state that the Israelis, Saudis, and others that want unrest to continue are “egging on the insurgents, assuming that you, Mr. President, will use U.S. forces to protect the insurgents in Idlib,” and perhaps punish Damascus.

“We believe your senior advisors are encouraging the insurgents to think in those terms, and that your most senior aides are taking credit for your recent policy shift from troop withdrawal from Syria to indefinite war.

“Russian missile-armed naval and air units are now deployed in unprecedented numbers to engage those tempted to interfere with Syrian and Russian forces trying to clean out the terrorists from Idlib.... We do not want you to be surprised when the Russians start firing their missiles. The prospect of direct Russian-U.S. hostilities in Syria is at an all-time high. We are not sure you realize that.”

The VIPS warn there is further volatility because “Kremlin leaders are not sure who is calling the shots in Washington.” While not the first time Putin has encountered such uncertainty, they say, this is the first time that Russian forces have deployed in such numbers into the area, ready to do battle. “The stakes are very high,” the VIPS warn.

They write, “The best way to assure Mr. Putin that you are in control of U.S. policy toward Syria would be for you to seek an early opportunity to speak out publicly, spelling out your intentions.” They add, “If you wish wider war, Bolton has put you on the right path.”

The VIPS conclude,

“If you wish to cool things down, you may wish to consider what might be called a pre-emptive ceasefire. By that we mean a public commitment by the Presidents of the U.S. and Russia to strengthen procedures to preclude an open clash between U.S. and Russian armed forces. We believe that, in present circumstances, this kind of extraordinary step is now required to head off wider war.”

They also include an appendix, citing the ceasefire of Sept. 12, 2016, “which did not happen,” and other instances in which the U.S. did not honor ceasefire agreements. The appendix quotes Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov saying that despite agreements signed by President Putin and then President Obama, intelligence was not shared.