The Truth About Idlib In The State Department’s Own Words

Support SouthFront

Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

On Friday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement ahead of the imminent Syrian government and Russian campaign to liberate Idlib from jihadist control.

Pompeo said via Twitter:

The 3 million Syrians, who have already been forced out of their homes and are now in Idlib, will suffer from this aggression. Not good. The world is watching.”

Both Washington and the mainstream networks are gearing up for a possible final US-Damascus-Russia confrontation in response to Assad’s military action in Idlib, representing the northwest province as “the last rebel stronghold” where Damascus simply seeks to “massacre civilians”.

But Washington officials often contradict their own past positions, and this is glaringly clear in the case of Idlib, where Brett McGurk the White House appointed anti-ISIS envoy who essentially acts as the president’s personal diplomat in Iraq and Syria — previously described the true situation on the ground in unusually frank comments:

Special US envoy McGurk accurately described:

“Idlib provice is the largest al-Qaeda safe-have since 9/11, tied to directly to Ayman al Zawahiri, this is a huge problem.”

The rare, honest assessment was spoken a little over a year ago on July 27, 2017 at a Washington D.C. event in which McGurk was a panelist hosted by the Middle East Institute.

During the panel discussion, McGurk posed: 

“But we have to ask a question; why and how is Ayman al-Zawahiri’s deputy finding his way to Idlib Province. Why is this happening? How are they getting there? They are not paratroopers…”

Yes, we’ve long wondered the same thing, especially when it was US intelligence directly assisting the al-Qaeda coalition Army of Islam (now morphed into Hayat Tahrir al-Sham) from an “operations room” in Turkey.

At the time, McGurk’s comments were aimed at NATO ally Turkey, which he accused of facilitating jihadist entry into northern Syria to displace the US-backed Syrian Kurdish SDF.

“The approach by some of our partners to send in tens of thousands of tons of weapons, and look the other way as these foreign fighters come into Syria may not have been the best approach,” McGurk continued during his 2017 comments.

He added that al-Qaeda has taken “full advantage” of Turkey allowing for the free flow of arms and jihadists across its lengthy border with Syria.

Of course McGurk neglected to mention that the United States was a willing partner in all of this throughout most of the entirety of the Syrian war, which sought regime change in Damascus. The Turkish foreign ministry condemned his statements at the time.

The State Department would of course hope that the American public forgets these words were ever spoken.

Meanwhile Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned the West not to interfere in Syrian and Russian forces engaged in anti-terror actions in Idlib:

 “I hope our Western partners will not give in to [rebel] provocations and will not obstruct an antiterror operation,” he said.

It appears that the State Department circa 2017 actually agreed with Lavrov’s calling the Idlib militants terrorists even in the State Department in 2018 does not. Or it’s also just Washington contradicting itself as usual for the sake of yet more nefarious foreign policy goals in the Middle East.

Support SouthFront

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Trustin Judeau

Idlib city was captured in 2015 in offensive led by Al Nusra and its allies.FSA have been participating with Nusra or HTS as they call themselves now in multiple offensives.They are allies against SAA.There is no difference between them.Hopefully SAA liberation of Idlib is coming.

You can call me Al

Did you see that Turkey (of all people) named HTS a terrorist organisation. Yesterday.

It will all come good.

AM Hants

Funny how he never got the message, that the US have nothing to do with the democratic, sovereign, nation of Syria. Russia is legally in Syria, unlike the US.

Now the world knows about the planned ‘chemical weapon false flag’. Even the UN, OPCW, plus, The Hague have been given the evidence, so rather then cancel it, the White Helmets, have decided to change the venue.

White Helmets Change Plan for False-Flag Chemical Attack in Idlib


Has anybody seen the Vanessa Beeley/Whitney Webb article?

Inside the “Humanitarian” Regime-Change Network Exploiting Jo Cox’s Death
From the Kosovo Protection Corps in the Balkans to the White Helmets of Syria, a group of well- connected people with the fundings of governments and elite billionaires have sought to wage a war on public opinion and have recently exploited Jo Cox’s death to do so…

The article is well worth reading, packed full of information, from Yugoslavia to Syria, and the crowds behind it all. Their connections with various Government funded NGOs, plus, their desire for greed driven carnage.


I liked the Eric Zuesse article -> where he cites the US and allies (vassals me thinks) as countries all run by aristocracies…..

You can call me Al

I think these “well connected people” get so bored, counting their money, they decide to play the playstation and their own billion dollar game – “how to kill people using the Yankers”.

AM Hants

I just see them sitting playing ‘family chess’, using us plebs as the pawns. There again, do they have the attention span?

Jens Holm

You have no idea about what a democrasy is at all.

AM Hants

Really? The President of Syria was voted in by the people of Syria, on more then one occasion. Guess the White Helmets were not included in the vote, owing to them not being Syrian, but, Government sponsored terrorists, from other nations.

Jens Holm

Thats crap of first kind.

AM Hants

Did you get to vote?


Vanessa Beeley and Whitney Webb’s article is so informative, it should be down loaded. The exposed NGO’s, the “charities” and their puppet masters will have guugle vaporize it asap. Thank yo so much for the link.

AM Hants

It is a brilliant and I thank them for publishing it. So agree, it should be essential reading.

Jens Holm

Yes many times. We vote in 3 levels: local and regional as well as for the country parlament.

I also have voted for entrence to EU in a Danish regi and once for abortion is better then unwanted children.

AM Hants

In Syria?

Jimi Thompson

Please do elaborate.

Jens Holm

Easy to get many links for that. They probatl spell better then me too.


A detail: “The 3 million Syrians, who have already been forced out of their homes and are now in Idlib”.

1,5 million was the Idlib’s population in 2011, but the de-escalation zone also includes densely populated areas of Aleppo and Hama governorates, so, the most great part of the hypothetical 3 million Syrians are at home, and have not been forced to go to Idlib (and Aleppo and Hama).


Well, you noticed, few of us noticed, but…
You forget that the majority of the population of this planet are two-legged very sympathetic, but very shallow and naive creatures:
Beeeeee ….. 3 million refugees …. beeeee …… shepherd says ….. beeeeeee ….. they bad …… beeeeee …… bombard them…….. beeeee ……. kill them all…… beeeeeee………


Considering my own opinion about, I can say that you are being nice to the majority of the human animal population of the only planet they have (till now).

neil barron

Best statement here.Succinct.


It’s only a detail, there are very good comments in the page, and also a imbecile saying absurd nonsenses, that I’ve blocked another time in my page view (it seems Discus forgot I had already blocked him).

You can call me Al

Disqus doesn’t forget; it would have changed a letter or log on address. Just saying….


As can be seen and heard above, the US acknowledged that Idlib is filled with terrorists. The US has warned Russia and Syria about taking Idlib back from the rebels…. they’ve now transformed from terrorists to rebels….. well, the false flag has been arranged and soon we’ll find the Empire defending it’s terrorists in Idlib.

The US has treated Russia as an enemy as far back as I can remember. Probably the only period they didn’t was up to and including a short period of time up to and after the Civil War whereby Russia intervened on the side of the North while Britain and France sought to aid the South. The fact that the aristocracy actually airs the truth publicly about it’s desires for the destruction of either Syria, Russia or any other just proves it’s arrogance, confidence and psychopathic tendencies.
Here’s an interesting link ->

Jens Holm

As usual Youforget all the local supporters and some little dot like Israel can spoil all muslims from Morocco to indonesia, because You are weak and incompetent.

Thats where the facts are. As long as You cant even produce a single plastic bucket from all Your oil, You are hard to respect.

You probatly think its fair and a fine thing the Rohingas are decimated hard in Burma.


Some commentators aren’t worth responding to. Unfortunately, I just did…. Will not happen again

Jens Holm

Thanks. Most things of Your are crap. Thats why I comment.


Jens ; “The purpose was to lower the artificial State of Syria and it didn’t matter who did it, as long as they did not spread terror outside Syria”.
You refuse to see the problem with using Wahhabi Sunni jihadists to achieve your “solution” in Syria or Burma.
When you ally yourself with evil in order to achieve good the results are karmic, you get bitten by the snake.
The real problem with all those jihadists in Idlib is when the SAA gives them the boot, the survivors will return to Europe or China. You may have noticed China has some special forces embedded in the SAA, their mission being to eliminate the Wahhabi radicalized Chinese Muslims so that they don’t take that evil back to China.


Jens ; Are you a supporter of the “Rohingya Liberation Organization”, or the larger “Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army” ?

Jens Holm

I just tell You, that muslims there by good and bad reasons are attacked there and there is a genoside. So when You say, that fokus should only be at You, it was nice, if they all behaved better in Burma.

I am a supporter of Burmese soldiers and police dont kill Rohingas. I am not familiar with the Rohinga Guerilla if it exíst. Hard to understand the purpose, and unfortunatly we see none can stop is.

Denmark has taken away our help away to the Burmese. Thats all we can do apart from trying to calm all down.

Val Shadowhawk

Good observation. Nothing to add.

Jens Holm

I refuse nothing. You use those Jihadists as human shields Yourself.

People are not even allwed to know anything else during many years. Actually You systemacticly has taken all away from all others kind of Governess in the whole world.

Its a great súcces showing only the bad things from us using us a a shield to for the private owned territory of Syria,

So people only have had 2 choises in many decades Baathists or Jihadists.

And why Jihadists. Well they have Sharia and the hardheaders there are not afraid of jail, torture and death because they get rewarded later – and believe in that.

You do forget, that the hope was the deflected ones made the first FSA and from start was more then 100.000 with some generals and a few second class politicians.

But that collapsed, they has no backup and no good active fighting, so the Jihadist in traditionel Sharia structures went to be the real opposition.

And again You ignore, that most of them are not foreigners but many have nowhere else to go. You also forget they have been supported by arab countries as well as Turks. This is no USA/Jewish part only at all.

The big problems for Syria is no reforms for many years including people into real support as well as for sekular improved production.

Kurds and SDFs are 100% right in that sinple Emirate Structures cant run a country. An improved centralised Goverment might do it.

But they prefare vital local influence given to them, so the locals can handle local improvements, bewcause they know were they are and what those investments cost by own tax and local agreements.

As it is now all money incl. the oil production is owned by the Bathists and when it arrive alot is used for partymemebers and friends – not the rest of the population.

Most of Your agriculture and irrigation for it is from old days. Your industrial zones are from old days. Many, many are urbanized hardly having jobs. Too many have no education at all. men are very low and too many are almost bound ti the stowe making children there too. I even read again those women are more stupid then ours.

Well, You keep them stupid. Ours are not, when they treated like the men are, can educate free asnd are not raised as obeyers for sale and buy as cars and computers.

Your family ownership is same thing. 80% is family owned and by that very ineffective. You pay men with cars and women with flowers. Often it should be the opposite and not in gender and mingling. New things are blocked by mainly old men but also old women.

Here only 20% are private owned by families. We have things in shares at the stockmarked. If things dont work we replace people for some better educated, hardworking with skills.

You dont learn Syrian and mpost arabs to be indepoendent persons even You go to heaven 1 by 1 and not i family groups having Grandaddy as Commander.

By that women has jibs in divose, so men almost only pay 1/2 for their children. The Old all game same pension and children and grandchildren dont need to support them(well most do for extra).

The onky ones in the whole Syria which have pklans for the future are teh SDFs by PYD decentralisme. Thats a normal thing here and works well.


Has there been any word on the 44 hostages?

VeeNarian (Yerevan)

It really doesn’t look good. I hope their family has a real good look at the next Al-Queda video on a “chemical attack”.
This is a real special war crime designed to risk WW3.
I really hope I am wrong.


I think that you are wrong. It seems a bit cruel that you would want their family to get a good look at a terrorist attack against their family members.

I was wondering about the hostages because it seems in that in several articles that I have read that many changes have taken place since Friday. They all talked about different manpower and weapons movements etc., but suddenly, no mention of a large group of hostages. It seemed odd.

VeeNarian (Yerevan)

I really really hope I am wrong. Identification would be essential for war crimes trials or even drone attacks on the battlefield.
As I said, I hope I am wrong!


Identification could be made using still photos taken from a video if one existed, or by identifying the remains without the family needing to see the slaughter of a loved one.

War crimes trials can be held successfully without brutalizing the remaining family any further. Evidence gathering can be done in a humane way using an autopsy and forensics.

Back on topic, has anyone heard how the hostages are doing?

You can call me Al

If the hostages are, how you infer; there will be hell to pay.

Tommy Jensen

McGurk´s comment was true in 27 July 2017. Today US Forces have cleaned out all terrorist forces in Iraq and Syria while ButcherAssad and HitlerPutin have been bombing civilians, weddings and hospitals.

Therefore its a correct statement that today the 3 million civilians in Idlib who want usury and freedom, are in jeopardy to be genocided by Putin´s hypersonic kalibr missiles and Assad´s gas chambers because they refuse to vote for dictatorship.

We in our civilised free world cant accept that and if we dont act now, it will be too late tomorrow and history will condemn us.


You say nothing about the genocide in Yemen and Palestine supported by the Zionist controlled US. Your crocodile tears mean nothing.

Jens Holm

Hard to see thats relevance in this context at all.

5 armies are in Idlib today as well as 3 fleets. I see no jewish,palestinish and from Yemen at all.

In yemen they have been fighting more or less all the time since I and my old father can remember. He remember Gamel Abdel Nasser was there too as well as in Syria. Great Succes. He also remember the Baathist in Syria and Iraq was united. Saddam here we comes.

The maps for Your socallded countries should be re-written. You insist in neo-coalitic border and one even made because a railroad was there. Turks never should have beeen allowed to be that much east of Ankara.

VeeNarian (Yerevan)

More rubbish, Tommy? You’ll do yourself a mental injury, dear!

Jens Holm

I think it make sense.

Tommy Jensen

We in the free world love our usury values.


“US Forces have cleaned out all terrorist forces …”
What does that mean?
Did you also clean Kosovo from terrorists? You did not, you helped the terrorists and gave them authority when you managed to occupy that part of Serbia. Who did you place to manage these temporary institutions on Kosovo? The proven terrorist and butcher who killed Serbs and sold their organs on the black market, a butcher against whom Interpol issued a warrant, but nothing is done because America is protecting him.
Did you also clean Libya from terrorists? You did not, you destroyed the state, you took everything you could from them and drove them into chaos.
Did you also clean Ukraine from terrorists? You did not, you have carried out a state coup, and when the people rebelled against that, you called them terrorists and you tried to destroy them. If you change the government with a state coup, do not immediately call upon any law and call someone a terrorist, because what you did in the first place, you did against the law.
What are you doing now in Syria? The same thing, you are trying to destroy the state and regular government and setting criminals to manage such a destroyed state, because you can control those criminals, and this is the easiest way to rob everything that’s worth in the country.
If the situation in Syria does not suit you, change the channel, watch the game, drink beer, screw a wife and do not push your nose in someone else’s problems.

Jens Holm

You must be very illitarete and ignorant. If You dont see what Tommy Jensen tell.

Next You probatly will blame Noah for not only making Semites, and Islam for Muslims being not drunk all the time like the 6 billion others in the whole world always are.

You forgot USA also have polluted mars and even have a car up there, which cant drive.


Do not insult me, you do not know me.

Jens Holm

Insult goes both ways.

You are not a regular goverment here as well. Syria never has been a country, There once was a landscape named Syria.

You even insist in a socalled state made for neocolonialisme and dont recreate, what can be done. Furthermore its mismaneged in they highest level.

You ignore to see the uprisers as well the SDF zone never was the Syrian landscape. I even hear Kurds(and Turkemen) has taken parts of You belowed ARAP MUSIC Syria by comming there – But, but it was the protectorate by mainly France, which took the old Aleppo and Raqqa procinces in.

True several 1000 kurds came in as refugees, but those are and was few compared to the rest.

A great part of the arabs from Tabqa to Abu Kamal are Arab incommers from (now) Saudi-Arabia from 1850 to 1920.

Assads by Baathist are the systematicly destructers of the landscapes. Even PYD kurds, which has at least some solutions as the only ones having NORMAL PLANS for the future has been kept low hard.

Syrians are kept low and are not even allowed to know alternative from all over the world. Not even the ones nearby such as Turkey and israel.

If not us Baathists there only are Jihadism and Communism.


Well, that’s your opinion on the situation in Syria. But it still does not represent your attitude. In my comment, I also mention Serbia, Libya and Ukraine. Comment on events in these countries to see what your attitude is, because this is the only way for a quality conversation.
I am an Orthodox Christian. Arab culture, including music, does not absolutely mean anything to me.

Val Shadowhawk

Bravo!! Well said!!! I blocked that idiot, as to not have to get my blood pressure up for nothing. Touche’ on your great response to the fool. Hope he’s sensible in the very least to consider everything you told him.

Tommy Jensen

It was meant to be a parody.


Orwellian doublespeak.

Jens Holm

You loose all the time, because You are not allowed or raised to flip even a coin.

Assads has lost for several billions of tanks as well as many many 10.000s of soldiers by that. Its like honor giving respect is to stay stupid and keep women even more stupid, so you dont feel in the bpttom of low.


“Several billions of tanks”! LOL

Jens Holm

I agree. Things in the region as well as outiside cant be seen as old pictures only.

Hard to make camels fly, even they want to.


Sorry to be the naysayer again, but isn’t everyone playing this game to varying degrees. I haven’t seen much to suggest that pro-Turkish outfits like Sultan Murat, Ahrar al-Sham or whatever they call themselves today, etc are that much better than HTS. But because of the engagement policy with Turkey, Russia is giving them more benefit of the doubt than do the local islamic population, who apparently are sick and tired of those thugs already.

And of course, while jewish terrorists have caused great destruction in Syria, those can get a VIP ticket to Moscow any time they ask for it.

Fred Dozer

“Idlib provice is the largest al-Qaeda safe-have since 9/11, tied to directly to Ayman al Zawahiri, this is a huge problem.”
I guess he was referring to the Taliban. They stopped a gas pipeline from crossing their country and almost eliminated poppy production. But they had no connection to 911. Anyone who researched the 911 terror attacks, knows it was a inside job. And my research shows a fraction of the casualties reported. Just research the injured, that never showed up in NYC hospitals that staged day.

Val Shadowhawk

9/11 was an ‘israeli’ job. From A to zed.

Jens Holm

USA hardly has neclected anything about it. Even Hillary openly was made to stop that kind of support.

The reasons for is well known too. The purpose was to lower the artificial State of Syria and it didnt matter who dis it as long as they did not spread terror outside Syria.