Would-be Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has stated publicly that the US government has supported Al-Qaeda terrorists, not least in their bid to overthrow the Syrian government. Gabbard is the most high-profile US politician to confirm what has been speculated about widely over the years and has vowed to end such support.
The Hawaiian Congresswoman and military veteran who served in Iraq has long been critical of US involvement in Syria. She made her comment during a debate between the Democratic Party’s presidential hopefuls. If elected, she said that she would “stop supporting terrorists like Al-Qaeda who have been the ground force for the regime-change war in Syria.”
Significantly, Gabbard has sponsored the Stop Arming the Terrorists Act. The legislation would stop the US government from “using taxpayer dollars to directly or indirectly support groups who are allied with and supporting terrorist groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda” and is based on congressional action during the Iran-Contra affair to prevent the CIA from illegally arming Nicaraguan rebels.
The CIA has also been supporting a group called Fursan Al-Haqq, “providing them with salaries, weapons and support, including surface to air missiles. This group is cooperating with and fighting alongside an Al-Qaeda affiliated group trying to overthrow the Syrian government. The Levant Front is another so-called moderate umbrella group of Syrian opposition fighters. Over the past year, the United States has been working with Turkey to give this group intelligence support and other forms of military assistance. This group has joined forces with Al-Qaeda’s offshoot group in Syria.”
The trafficking of arms to Al-Qaeda and Daesh by the US and its allies has been well documented. According to investigative journalism site Arms Watch, leaked documents showed how US purchased weapons had been trafficked to Daesh fighters in Yemen and Syria.
Gabbard has stated previously that, “Under US law it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to Al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups… Yet the US government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of Al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.”
During the debate in the House, she also promised to lift draconian sanctions which have contributed to the suffering of the Syrian people, and to put an end to the war waged by the Saudi-led coalition against Yemen.