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The revelations come from new letters added to the 22,000 internal ISIS documents Sky News leaked in March. Before the Syrian troops regained control of the ancient city of Palmyra earlier this year, the Syrian government arranged a deal to allow ISIS to “withdraw all heavy artillery and anti-aircraft machine guns from in and around Palmyra to [the] Raqqa province.

Bojesson, Jacob.  “Leaked ISIS Docs Show Close Cooperation Between ISIS and Assad.”  The Daily Caller, May 3, 2016.

Earlier on BackChannels

“Syria — “Assad vs The Terrorists” — How ISIS Defends Assad.”  October 2, 2015.

“Ali Khamenei and the Letter from Near Mosul — A Speculation.”  January 16, 2015.

Earlier in Other Media

Westcott, Lucy.  “U.S. Accuses Assad of Aiding ISIS Through Airstrikes.”  Newsweek, June 2, 2015.

On Corroborating Stories — Multiple Independent Sources

Tweet: “Putin, Assad, Khamenei — Together They Are Defending Absolute Power.”

Add Baghdadi.

BackChannels has been supporting the idea that malign and medieval leaders work together, whether directly or indirectly makes no difference, in supporting the feudal image and theater that in turn justifies they stay in political absolute power.  As evidence mounts as regards the incubation of al-Qaeda-type forces and ISIS through the selective bombing of other targets, and as new reportage surfaces with news of collusion between Russian air power and ISIS ground forces, it starts to look like BackChannels got it right in the first place.  From the above cited Daily Caller piece: “ISIS gets a detailed warning of when a strike is scheduled to take place, which allows it to withdraw to an agreed evacuation point.”

Addendum – Additional Reference

Bender, Jeremy.  “Russia’s war against terrorism isn’t what it seems.”  Business Insider, August 24, 2015.

Goble, Paul A.  “FSB helps Russian Islamists go fight in Syria, prosecutes ones who come back, ‘Novaya Gazeta’ says.”  Euromaidan Press, July 31, 2015.

Gomez, Christian.  “Russian FSB Defector Reveals Kremlin Supports ISIS.”  New American, December 9, 2015:

Anatoliy Golitsyn, a high-ranking KGB defector who served in the KGB’s ultra secretive long-range disinformation Department D, explained in his book New Lies For Old (1984) the then-Soviet Union’s reason for sponsoring terrorism:

The objective of violence is to create chaos and anarchy, to impose additional strains on ruling democratic parties, to eliminate their ablest leaders, to force them to resort to undemocratic measures, and to demonstrate to the public their inability to maintain law and order, leaving the field open to the legal communist party to present itself as the only effective alternative force.

Human Rights Watch.  “Russia: Investigative Journalist Facing Death Threats: Assaulted in Past Over Chechnya Reporting.”  Report on journalist Elena Milashina who broke the story of Russia’s channeling of Chechen jihadis to ISIS.  June 10, 2015.

Nemtsova, Anna and Thomas Seibert.  “Russia’s ISIS Money Men Exposed.”  The Daily Beast, December 4, 2015.

Orton, Kyle.  “How Russia Manipulates Islamic Terrorism.”  The Syrian Intifada, September 8, 2015.

Reuters.  “Putin Ally: Chechen Spies Infiltrate ISIS.”  Newsweek, February 8, 2016:

“An extensive spy network has been set up inside Islamic State,” Kadyrov’s office quoted him on Monday as telling Russia’s state-controlled Russia 1 channel.

“Thanks to their work as agents the Russian air force is successfully destroying terrorist bases in Syria.”

Weiss, Michael.  “Russia is Sending Jihadis to Join ISIS.”  The Daily Beast, August 23, 2015:

Based on extensive fieldwork in one village in the North Caucasus, reporter Elena Milashina has concluded that the “Russian special services have controlled” the flow of jihadists into Syria, where they have lately joined up not only with ISIS but other radical Islamist factions.

Wikipedia: “Anatoliy Golitsyn”.

Addendum – On the Russian Spy Angle

From the Awesome Conversation —

While the Kremlin channels jihadis to ISIS, it may also embed spies, so it rids itself of at least a few potential terrorists — or thousands of them — in Russia and sets them up in easily targeted (because it may have also sent in spies) “kill zones” in Syria. Politically, it can promote, vicariously, say, the symphony while “barrel bombing” noncombatant Syrians while making its case for “Assad OR The Terrorists”, and through the Baathist generals who have become ISIS generals, it can display a convenient foil for Khamenei’s Revolutionary Guard, reported as embedded in the more “fiery” Shiite militia, for Tehran’s expansion of influence in Iraq. By doing all of the above, which I believe it has, the familiar post-Soviet axis has reproduced the image of the feudal world that each despotic leader needs to remain legitimate (in the eyes of their followers) in power.

Reports of ISIS beheading Russian spies surfaced in several news reports in December 2015, and similar reportage continued into April 2016.


Apparently, Russian spies inserted into ISIS may have both signaled ISIS positions to Russian air power as well as warned ISIS troops of impending strikes.

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