John McCain accused of conspiring with Daesh

Thierry Meyssan assumes that Senator John McCain would use his status “to conduct covert actions on behalf of his government” to trigger the “Arab Spring” in his article on the net Voltaire site, August 18, 2014[1] .

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Are Barack Obama and John McCain political opponents as they claim, or are they working together on the imperialist strategy of their country? ] (pasted from

He argues that Senator McCain met with members of the ISIS in the town of Azaz at the north of Aleppo on Syria-Turkey borders in May 2013. The pictures of the visit have been controversial and are used to accuse him of having met Al Baghdadi and conspired with him.

I only examine below Senator John McCain’s visit in the context of 2013, to demonstrate Thierry Meyssan’s argument is unfounded and  misleading.

Liwa Al Asifat Al Shamal

 The Liwa Asifat AL Shamal  was formed in 2011. Their commander was Amar Ibrahim Dadikhi who died in 2013; the Division fought the Battle of Mingh, liberated the town of Azaz from Regime control in 2012, but was forced to disband in 2013 after ISIS captured Azaz . Some of her commanders are Ahmad AL Ghazali [2] Adnan AL Sayadi [3] Haj Amouri [4], and others (see pictures below)

AS was part of the FSA (Free Syrian Army) but refused to join the Syrian Military Council in early 2013, because of their alliance with Tawheed (FI [5]) to defend Azaz. On one hand, their survival was related to that alliance and the geographical situation of Azaz that allowed to finance the war with the duties on cross-border exchanges with Turkey, on the other hand. After they disbanded late 2013, some of the members have created new battalions and divisions: AL Ahrar Al Shamal and Liwa Asifat in Latakia, and Liwa Asifat Horan was created to commemorate the AS name, and all are members of the FSA.

Since 2012, ISIS has made no secret to control Azaz. In 2013, [6] ISIS territory stretched along the Turkish border, Raqqa, Tal Abyad, Jarablus and then Azaz, controlling oil wells whom income could help ISIS break free from the Mukhabarat financial grip. Had the regime tracked and bombed from the start all islamist moves, ISIS strategy would not have succeeded. This is the collusion between the regime and ISIS whose offensive strategy was set to  capture Azaz.

So, ISIS captured Azaz in September-October 2013, several months after the visit of Senator McCain that took place in May 2013. According to the organizer Moaz Mostafa, he learned that ISIS has beheaded several members of the Division including those who met with the American senator.

ISIL et Asifat AL Shamal

It’s in May 2013 that Senator McCain met with members of FSA. There was an initial meeting in Gaziantep in Turkey with the commanders of the FSA who travelled from inside Syria and a second meeting in Azaz with commanders Asifat Al Shamal. [7] Both took place in the presence of Chief of Staff Salim Idris

ISIS accused [8] Asifat AL Shamal to conspire against Al Qaeda with McCain. The main points are: They welcomed McCain in a shed and both reached an agreement to fight the Islamists. “And that the Division works with BlackWater and the CIA”

ISIS Statement

ISIS statement to Asifat Al Shamal

The Asifat Al Shamal response to ISIS[9]: “The meeting with Senator John McCain was public and well known, and took place after consulting Sheikh Omar AL Shishani who did agree. The meeting could have been held in secret but we did not want to betray neither our religion nor our people.

Asifat Al Shamal statement to ISIS

Asifat Al Shamal statement to ISIS


On 2 October 2013, AlShishani denied to have agreed to that meeting [10] in a video (but he did not say he was not informed)


It is not Al Baghdadi 


Sénator John McCain meeting at Azaz John McCain and the heads of the Free Syrian Army. In the left foreground, Ibrahim al-Badri, with which the Senator is talking. Next, Brigadier General Salim Idris (with glasses). 11] (pasted from

Sénator John McCain meeting at Azaz
John McCain and the heads of the Free Syrian Army. In the left foreground, Ibrahim al-Badri, with who the Senator is talking. Next, Brigadier General Salim Idris (with glasses). 11] (pasted from

How the image reached out to the media? On 7 October 2013 after Azaz capture, Hadramawt news [12] and Al Arabi on line [13] reported that Asia [14] news had obtained a photo from ISIS (Daesh) who said it was found it in a Asifat commander’s laptop, and which features the commanders meeting with Senator McCain (photo above).

Mr Meyssan indicates in his article that the man sitting on the left in the picture is undoubtedly Abu Al Badri (Abu Du’a or AL Baghdadi) who is discussing with Senator McCain. He establishes a serious physical profile with the document below to shout out loud for a conspiracy ISIL-McCain. Hence, a conspiracy against who?

Al Baghdadi profile

Al Baghdadi profile

To my part, and after several exchanges with activists, they confirmed that AL Baghdadi was in Iraq at that time, too busy to set up his organization.

The organizer Moaz Mostafa assured me that the main personality at that meeting was “Samir Alwan”, and Salim Idriss was also present.” FreeHalab wrote in a blogpost that the person sitting to the left (see the red arrow) is Abu Yussef [15].

Finally, we now know the identity of 6 people in the picture: Samir Alwan, Chief of Staff General Salim Idris, Abu Yussef aka Ahmad Hayyad (see picture below), Moaz Mostafa in a white T-Shirt and Senator McCain, and presumably Ahmad Al Ghazali at the bottom right near the door .

Ahmad Hayyad aka Abu Yussef

Ahmad Hayyad aka Abu Yussef


The conspiracy theme is very embedded in [16] Mr Meyssan’s article. He is right, there is indeed a conspiracy which demonizes changes in the Middle East, prevents the democratization of the Arab world where a space for dialogue could replace the law of the sword,  individual rights are recognized and respected, and citizens are treated with dignity and are not at the “neronian” dictators and their offspring mercy.

And finally, there is a conspiracy that has turned a blind eye when ISIS convoys travelled 400 kms without being attacked by the regime aircrafts. A regime who killed almost 200,000 people in cold blood, and who slanders  Sen. John McCain.

Should we be surprised by  such a deceitful campaign?








[5] Islamic Forces











[16] Ibid

#aleppo, #fsa, #asifat-al-shamal, #azaz, #daesh, #isis, #mccain