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| | |-+  Biden blames US allies in Middle East for rise of ISIS
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Author Topic: Biden blames US allies in Middle East for rise of ISIS  (Read 14422 times)
Posts: 1810

« on: October 06, 2014, 11:28:07 AM »

Published time: October 03, 2014 13:02
Edited time: October 04, 2014 18:59

US Vice-President Joe Biden has accused America’s key allies in the Middle East of allowing the rise of the Islamic State (IS), saying they supported extremists with money and weapons in their eagerness to oust the Assad regime in Syria.

America’s “biggest problem” in Syria is its regional allies, Biden told students at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University on Thursday.

“Our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria,” he said, explaining that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE were “so determined to take down Assad,” that in a sense they started a “proxy Sunni-Shia war” by pouring “hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons” towards anyone who would fight against Assad.

“And we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them,” said Biden, thus disassociating the US from unleashing the civil war in Syria.

“The outcome of such a policy now is more visible,” he said, as it turned out they supplied extremists from Al-Nusra Front and Al-Qaeda.

All of a sudden the regional powers that sponsored anti-Assad rebels awakened to the dawn of a major international security threat in the face of ISIS – now called Islamic State. After being essentially thrown out of Iraq it found open space and territory in eastern Syria and established close ties with the Al-Nusra Front which the US had earlier declared a terrorist group.

Now Washington needs a coalition of Sunni states to fight the Islamic State because “America can't once again go in to Muslim nation and be the aggressor, it has to be led by Sunnis, to attack a Sunni organization [the IS],” Biden said, acknowledging that it is for the first time that the US uses a geopolitical strategy.

“Even if we wanted it to be, it cannot be our fight alone,” Biden said. “This cannot be turned into a US ground war against another Arab nation in the Middle East.”

“But of what I’m more astonished is of his apparent amnesia about what America and Britain were trying to ferment in Syria only a year ago. They were not only putting staff intelligence personnel on the ground, and providing logistical support to the rebels in Syria; they were spearheading the campaign to try to oust Assad,” former MI5 agent Annie Machon told RT.

She added that “Perhaps, the Vice President is finally learning some lessons from history. It does not matter who you think your friends are going to be in the region. Very often they will be taken over or subsumed into a more radical group.”

Posts: 1810

« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2014, 11:32:23 AM »

Biden 'apologises' to UAE for ISIL remarks

Phone call by US vice president to Abu Dhabi crown prince comes a day after he offered apology to Turkey's president.

Last updated: 06 Oct 2014 03:11

The United Arab Emirates says US Vice President Joe Biden has apologised to the Abu Dhabi crown prince for "any implications" in remarks he made last week that the UAE had supported fighters in Syria.

Sunday's phone call, confirmed by US officials, came after a day after Biden offered a similar apology to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Biden, who is known for his occasional verbal gaffes, angered US allies when he suggested in a speech at Harvard University on Thursday that Turkey, Qatar and the UAE had extended "billions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons" to Sunni fighters trying to overthrow Bashar al-Assad, Syrian president.

"In the phone call, Biden offered his apology to the UAE for any implications in his recent statements that may have been understood to mean that the UAE had supported the growth of some of the terrorist organisations in the region," WAM, the official UAE news agency, said.

Biden's office, in a statement regarding the telephone call to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, said the vice president "clarified that his recent remarks regarding the early stages of the conflict in Syria were not meant to imply that the UAE had facilitated or supported ISIL, al-Qaeda or other groups in Syria".

The statement said: "The vice president noted the UAE's strong steps in countering extremist messaging and financing and expressed gratitude for their participation in ongoing military operations against ISIL."

The UAE is one of a handful of Arab allies taking part in US-led air strikes against the self-declared jihadist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant group in Syria. The others are Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

The UAE had expressed surprise after over Biden's comments.

Biden's remarks were "amazing and ignore the role of the Emirates in the fight against extremism and terrorism", Anwar Gargash, UAE junior minister for foreign affairs, said in a statement carried late on Saturday by WAM.

Gargash had asked Biden to clarify the comments in which he said the US vice president had given "a false impression about the role of the UAE ... at a time when it is actually supporting ... efforts to overcome" the dominance of fighters.

"The vice president apologised for any implication that Turkey or other allies and partners in the region had intentionally supplied or facilitated the growth of the ISIL or other violent extremists in Syria," Biden's office said on Saturday, in a similar apology to Turkey.

It came after Erdogan reacted furiously to the comments Biden made at Harvard University on Thursday in which he criticised allies in Turkey and the Arab world for supporting Sunni armed groups in  Syria, including ISIL and the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front.

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