Why do you think ISIS was able to retake Palmyra?
The DIA warning in 2012 had said:
"C. IF THE SITUATION UNRAVELS THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST [fundamentalist Sunni] PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS [U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey] TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE [pro-Russian and pro-Iranian] SYRIAN REGIME.”
Whoever wrote this assessment recognized that though the option would mean an “unraveling” of Syria, it’s what the U.S. and its allies were actually seeking.
On September 17th, U.S. and UK jets bombed the compound of Syrian government troops who were fighting to oust jihadists from Deir Ezzor (or “Der Zor”), and killed 62 Syrian soldiers, with a hundred more injured, in that U.S.-led bombing attack. Der Zor was being softened-up for the coming U.S.-and-allied takeover.
The brilliant anonymous military blogger “Moon of Alabama” then became the first reporter to notice the possible connection that the DIA’s warning might end up having to what is now the joint U.S.-Turkish-Iraqi operation against ISIS in Mosul; he headlined on 20 September 2016, "Deir Ezzor Attack Enables The 'Salafist Principality' As Foreseen In The 2012 DIA Analysis”, and he wrote:
"Two recent attacks against the Syrian Arab Army in east-Syria point to a U.S. plan to eliminate all Syrian government presence east of Palmyra. This would enable the U.S. and its allies to create a 'Sunni entity' in east-Syria and west-Iraq which would be a permanent thorn in side of Syria and its allies [Russia and Iran]. A 2012 analysis by the Defense Intelligence Agency said” — and he then quoted the above DIA excerpt.
Then on October 12th, he bannered “The ’Salafist Principality’ — ISIS Paid Off To Leave Mosul And To Take Deir Ezzor?”, and reported that the Obama Administration had just negotiated with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, and with Saudi Prince Salman (who is the decision-maker in Saudi military matters), to provide safe passage into the large Syrian city of Deir Es Zor, for the ISIS jihadists who were occupying the large city of Mosul in Iraq.
He cited also a tweet on the morning of October 12th, from the celebrated Syrian historian and journalist Nizar Nayouf, reporting: “Breaking news: Sources in #London say: #US&#Saudi_Arabia concluded an agreement to let #ISIS leave #Mosul secretly & safely to #Syria.”
Furthermore, on October 15th, the Turkish government posted online a map showing the“‘Sensitive’ Operation Plan for Mosul” including six steps, one of which was “An escape corridor into Syria will be left for Daesh [ISIS] so they can vacate Mosul.” Though the U.S. government wasn’t public about this part of the plan — moving the jihadists “into Syria” instead of killing the jihadists (as Obama always claimed to be his intention) — the Turkish government was.
On December 11th, Russian Television headlined “4,000 ISIS fighters regroup, make new attempt to capture Palmyra”, and reported that:
“Over 4,000 Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists, reinforced by tanks, have started an offensive to retake the key Syrian city of Palmyra after regrouping themselves. … The terrorists have received considerable reinforcement, including heavy military hardware from the regions of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor. …The terrorists are receiving support from jihadists coming from Iraq. … In October, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that terrorists ‘could flee from Mosul and go to Syria.’”
That’s precisely what is now happening.
So: the Obama Administration seems to be making considerable progress to set up the next U.S. President, Trump, with an “unraveling” situation in Syria, so as to enable Trump to continue Obama’s war against Russia and all its allies (such as Syria).
Whether President Trump will continue Obama’s policy isn’t yet clear.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.