ISIS-linked militants are threatening huge natural gas reserves the world needs badly right now.
And, it seems, they’re prepared to keep doing it until someone pays them the $30,000 – or $300,000, to be more precise – that’s currently on the black market.
So who’s really behind the attacks? A group of radical Islamic extremists working with the US and Western intelligence agencies, according to a new report by the UN.
This is the first time the UN has officially accused the US and British governments of working with jihadists as part of a ‘failed state’ strategy to destabilise Syria.
But it’s a claim that US-backed Syrian rebels have been making for a decade, it’s worth recalling.
In 2011, the US-based Council on Foreign Relations published a report blaming ‘al-Qaeda-linked rebels’ for attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya during the revolution.
It was later revealed the document was forged by the CIA, as well as a British spy who later pleaded guilty to spying.
And, while the report was dismissed by the media as ‘anti-government propaganda’, it was widely praised by Republican senators and the right-wing media outlets.
It was the same story on Syria.
The report also accused ‘anti-regime activists’ of committing chemical attacks against the Syrian army at Ghouta in August 2013, and of carrying out bombings of medical clinics in Damascus in September 2013.
In July 2014, the report claimed the Syrian government had ‘targeted US personnel and facilities’, referring to the fact that the US military was supporting Syrian rebel groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.
This was quickly debunked by the US military, the UN and the US State Department.
And, in August 2014, the Obama administration formally accused ‘al-Qaeda-linked rebels’ of carrying out attacks on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
US officials claimed jihadist group Ansar al-Sham – which was later revealed to be a creation of the CIA – was behind the attack on the US Consulate.
Later, US officials admitted the group itself was created by the CIA, and that its