There is a multitude of information to be gleamed from the conflict in Syria.
“Diversity Visa Lottery” is One of those Orwellian New Speak Words which really mean “One way Ticket for Terrorist”. Be sure and mark that one down.
A man charged with joining the Islamic State (ISIS) as a sniper and firearms instructor originally came to the United States through the “Diversity Visa Lottery,” a program responsible for bringing more than half a million randomly chosen foreign nationals to the country in a single decade.
Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, 42-years-old, was charged last week in a Brooklyn, New York, federal court for aiding ISIS in 2013 when he allegedly traveled to Turkey and Syria to fight for the terrorist group.
Asainov, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency has confirmed, first arrived in the U.S. through the Diversity Visa Lottery in February 1999.
The Visa Lottery randomly gives out about 55,000 visas every year to foreign nationals from a multitude of countries, including those with known terrorist problems — such as Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and…
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More than a month after it began, the battle for the Syrian city of Manbij drags on.
Now surrounded on all sides by a coalition of Kurds and Arabs, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, and supported by U.S. Special Operations forces as well as dozens of airstrikes, the motley assortment of troops is slowly rooting out Islamic State fighters one block at a time.
Yet, despite gains around the city, one cluster of buildings at the southern tip of Manbij has turned into a small redoubt and a symbol of the Islamic State’s determination to hold its territory. The structures, a series of grain silos, elevators and administrative buildings, have been hit by numerous airstrikes since 2014. And despite various reports of their seizure by the U.S-backed forces, they still appear either to be partially held by ISIS fighters or so laden with mines and booby traps that advancing troops are unable to enter.
ANTAKYA, Turkey — The rebel commander was nervous. He had changed phone numbers and been difficult to reach before finally agreeing to meet in Antakya, a city near the border with war-torn Syria that has long swarmed with rebels, refugees, and spies. On the road to an out-of-the-way hotel, he told the driver to avoid the main route through town. “It’s better not to drive among all the people,” he said.
It was an open secret that the commander had once received cash and weapons from the CIA, part of a covert U.S. program that backs rebel groups against both ISIS and the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad.
When his battalion was eventually driven from Syria by its jihadi rivals, like a number of U.S.-backed groups, he pleaded with his U.S. handlers for better support, but it wasn’t enough. So he was, he said, “out of the game.”
Now, he said, sitting at a quiet table at the hotel, he had received an offer that could bring him back in — and potentially make him even stronger than before.
He was being recruited, he said, to work for the U.S.’s rival in Syria: Russia.
“They told me, ‘We will support you forever. We won’t leave you on your own like your old friends did,’” he said. “Honestly, I’m still thinking about it.”
The commander said that five years into a war that has killed some 400,000 people and created nearly 5 million refugees, Russia is recruiting current and former U.S. allies to its side. His revelation was confirmed by four people who said they, too, had been approached with offers from Russia and by two Syrian middlemen who said they delivered them.
The moves come as Russia ratchets up its involvement in Syria with troops and airstrikes. Russia says its military campaign is designed to target ISIS — in reality it has targeted all rebels, including some who are still backed by the U.S., while also wreaking havoc on civilians.
Read the Remainder at Buzz Feed News
This is a Vice News Documentary that shows how Families are fighting BOTH the Assad Regime and ISIS.