US created refugees

The US war on terror or Operation Enduring Freedom became the pretext for immediate US military intervention in the Philippines, Trans-Sahara or Northern Africa, Horn of Africa and the Red Sea, for the full-scale war of aggression against Iraq and for military interventions in Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Cameroon, Kashmir and elsewhere. The full-scale war of aggression against Iraq was even more costly than the war in Afghanistan. The pretext of the war was the lie that the Saddam Hussein government was developing weapons of mass destruction. But the war was emphatically in the interest of the US-Zionist combine in West Asia or Middle East.

In January 2002, the US Special Operations Command-Pacific deployed a contingent to advice and assist the Armed Forces of the Philippines in combating Filipino Islamist groups like the Abu Sayyaf group and the Jemaah Islamiyah. The US and Philippine forces formed the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines which disbanded in June 2014. In 2017, the US launched Operation Pacific-Eagle-Philippines (OPE-P) and sent a contingent to support the Philippine puppet government and the military in their supposed efforts to isolate, degrade, and defeat the affiliates of ISIS within Philippine territory (collectively referred to as ISIS-Philippines and other “terrorist” organisations, including the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army. Since 2018, there have been as many as 300 advisers at the head of the US military contingent.

Operation Enduring Freedom-Trans Sahara (OEF-TS) took the name Operation Juniper Shield, when it was extended there by the U.S. and its coalition partners in the Sahara/Sahel region of Africa, consisting of “counter-terrorism efforts” and policing of arms and drug trafficking across central Africa. The conflict in northern Mali began in January 2012 with radical Islamists (affiliated to Al Qaeda) advancing into northern Mali against the new Malian government which requested support from France for combating the Islamic militants in January 2013. France deployed troops in Mali and launched Operation Serval on January 11, 2013, with the hope of dislodging the Al Qaeda-affiliated groups from northern Mali.

In October 2002, the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa was established in Djibouti. It consisted of some 2,000 personnel from U.S. military and special operations forces (SOF) and coalition force members. It included ships from a shifting group of nations, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Pakistan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The primary objective of the coalition forces was to monitor, inspect, board and stop suspected shipments from entering the Horn of Africa region and affecting the United States’ Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The biggest US-NATO war of aggression in the sham war on terror was against Iraq. It began in March 2003 with an air campaign and was immediately followed by a US-led ground invasion. The Bush administration invoked UNSC Resolution 1441, which warned of “serious consequences” for the lie that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. Bush arbitrarily made Iraq the target of the war on terror. In fact, the Saddam Hussein government was hostile to the Al Qaeda.

Following the Battle of Umm Qasr on March 21, 2003 in which the British, U.S. and Polish forces combined to seize control of the port city of Umm Qasr, the US troops captured Baghdad in April 2003 and the Saddam government disintegrated. On May 1, 2003, Bush announced victory and the end of major combat operations in Iraq. But armed resistance led by Saddam’s Baath party arose against the U.S.-led coalition and the post-Saddam government. It killed a great number of coalition troops and became stronger in 2004 even as Hussein had been captured by US forces in December 2003 and would be executed in 2006.

The U.S. launched offensives on strongholds of the rebellion in cities like Najaf and Fallujah and relied heavily on the support of troops of the newly-installed Shiite government as well as on the Peshmerga from the Kurdish region of Iraq. In 2007, the US made a troop surge but this led to the US making separate compromises with both Shiite and Sunni groups in order to reduce the level of violence and avoid more US casualties.

In 2009 the US under Obama declared the end of US combat operations in Iraq but in 2011 surreptitiously assisted the formation of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), otherwise known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), to challenge and destabilize the Shiite Iraqi government. And in 2014 the US began redeploying its forces in Iraq under the pretext of fighting the ISIS. Take note that the CIA organized the ISIS as its tool for opening the way to the redeployment of US troops but eventually the US would attack the ISIS after this discredited itself with the beheading of Christians and other atrocities.

Immediately after the 9-11 attacks, the US pressured the Musharaff government in Pakistan to collaborate with the US in fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Out of fear that the US and India would team up to attack Pakistan, Musharaff complied and became active in speaking and acting against the Taliban and Al Qaeda as extreme Islamists. In 2004 the Pakistan Army deployed 80,000 troops in the Waziristan region against them. But in the long run, the Pakistani authorities could not stop the Taliban from being favored by the good cross-border relations of the Pashtun tribes in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They assisted the Taliban eventually and at the same time extracted aid concessions from the US.

In the name of the global war on terror, the US conducted a series of airstrikes on Al-Qaeda militants from 2001 onward and in Iraq and Syria against ISIS in 2014 after using it in previous years. On September 21-22, 2014, the combined forces of the US, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, Jordan and Qatar carried out air strikes against ISIS in Syria. In October 2014, the U.S. Department of Defense openly classified military operations against the ISIS as being under Operation Enduring Freedom.

The rise of the ISIS in the Middle East encouraged the formation of similar jihadist formations elsewhere in the world. In the Philippines, the Maute group arose from the ranks of former Moro Islamic Liberation Front members who called themselves the Dawlah Islamiyah and swore loyalty to the ISIS. It began clashes with the troops of the Manila government and staged some bombings. On May 23. 2017, it attacked the city of Marawi and began the Battle of Marawi which lasted for five months.

Taking advantage of a power vacuum in the center of Libya, far from the major cities of Tripoli and Benghazi, the ISIS expanded rapidly over the next 18 months from 2014 onward. Local ISIS members were joined by jihadists from the rest of North Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the Caucasus. It seized the coastal city of Sirte in early 2015 and expanded to the east and south. By the beginning of 2016, it had effective control of 120 to 150 miles of coastline and portions of the interior and had reached Benghazi. But US air strikes and Libyan rebel groups fought and decimated the ISIS.

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison

ILPS Chairperson Emeritus