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Bombshell NSA Memo: Saudi Arabia Ordered Attack On Damascus International Airport With US Knowledge

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Originally appeared at Zero Hedge

The Intercept has just released a new top-secret NSA document unearthed from leaked intelligence files provided by Edward Snowden which reveals in stunning clarity that the armed opposition in Syria was under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the war which has now claimed half a million lives.

The US intelligence memo – marked “Top Secret” – is arguably the most damning piece of evidence to date which gives internal US government confirmation of the direct role that both the Saudi and US governments played in fueling an armed insurgency which launched massive and well-coordinated attacks on civilians, civilian infrastructure, as well as military targets in pursuit of regime change. The NSA report is sourced to the intelligence agency’s controversial PRISM program – which gives the NSA the ability to sweep up all communications and data exchanged through major US internet service providers like Google. The memo focuses on events that unfolded outside Damascus in March of 2013.

Bombshell NSA Memo: Saudi Arabia Ordered Attack On Damascus International Airport With US Knowledge

Damascus International Airport: a major civilian transport hub targeted by the Saudi government with knowledge of US intelligence. Image source: AFP/Getty

One of the videos that Saudi-backed FSA fighters uploaded to YouTube identified by The Intercept as showing rockets launched on civilian areas of Damascus on March 18, 2013. US intelligence knew of the secret operation three days in advance yet did not stop it.  

According to the document, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) was ordered to “light up Damascus” and “flatten” the Syrian capital’s international airport by Prince Salman bin Sultan – a prominent member of the Saudi royal family tasked with overseeing operations in Syria as a top Saudi intelligence officer. The document further reveals that the “Saudis sent 120 tons of explosives/weapons to opposition forces” – presumably in the lead up to the operation.

The report not only confirms that the assault happened, but that the Saudi government was “very pleased” with the outcome: “Attacks against airport, Presidential palace and other locations occurred on 18 March,” the memo reads. Also significant is that the memo confirms US intelligence foreknowledge of the attack on a major civilian airport: “Reports gave U.S. three days warning about 18 March 2013 attacks (2 year anniversary of revolution).”

Bombshell NSA Memo: Saudi Arabia Ordered Attack On Damascus International Airport With US Knowledge

Prince Salman bin Sultan, who is currently the Saudi Deputy Defense Minister. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

According to The Intercept, various news reports from the time confirmed significant attacks and damage from FSA-fired rockets upon civilian areas. Not only is Damascus International Airport Syria’s main civilian transport hub – which was used by millions each year before the war – but it remained in daily operation for commercial flights in March 2013, when Saudi intelligence ordered the attacks with knowledge of US intelligence.

As The Intercept reports:

A number of videos posted by Syrian opposition media on the day of the attacks purport to show rebel fighters firing rockets at the same sites mentioned in the U.S. document. The March 2013 attacks in Damascus provide a concrete example of the role that foreign powers played in the day-to-day reality of the conflict. A number of videos posted by Syrian opposition media on the day of the attacks purport to show rebel fighters firing rockets at the same sites mentioned in the U.S. document. Local media reports from that day described an attack in which rockets struck within the areas of the presidential palace, a local government security branch, and the airport. A representative of the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights quoted in a story the next day reporting the attacks, stating that they were unable to confirm whether they resulted in casualties.

However, The Intercept’s commentary is inaccurate in claiming that the Syrian Observatory (SOHR) did not report casualties from the attack as one of the Arabic news sources it links to above (Middle East based Alwatan News), reports:

“The Free Syrian Army targeted Kafr Sousa [an area of Damascus near Mezzeh] and they fired 24 missiles on Damascus airport… 60 people died in yesterday’s attacks, according to the Syrian Observatory.” [as translated by Zero Hedge]

And intense attacks continued through April and into the summer of 2013 according to international media reports from the time, also confirmed by a photo circulated through the AFP showing civilian passengers waiting in airport lounges the month following the initial March 2013 rocket attacks.

While the Saudi-US role in fueling the jihadist insurgency from the earliest days of the war in Syria has long been thoroughly documented, this latest leaked NSA bombshell report provides astoundingly clear proof that the relationship between the anti-Assad insurgents and foreign intelligence was even more direct, and existed earlier in time than most analyst and mainstream pundits led the public to believe.


Below is the leaked National Security Agency document published by The Intercept earlier today:

Bombshell NSA Memo: Saudi Arabia Ordered Attack On Damascus International Airport With US Knowledge

Leaked NSA document contents in text format:

Bombshell NSA Memo: Saudi Arabia Ordered Attack On Damascus International Airport With US Knowledge

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Trustin Judeau

Nothing bombshell really . People who really followed this war know since ages that this was and still is proxy war against the Syrian goverment . So SA ordering its proxies to attack on Damascus in 2013 is not surprise . in South Syria -SA,Jordan , US and few other countries were in charge of their proxies . In Northern Syria was Turkey , Qatar, US and probably France .

John Whitehot

evidently it is something that some party wants to remind in this particular moment..

You can call me Al

I read an article in NEO that Weinstein is the first of many in the swamp to be drained.

Get the beer and wine in, crisps and popcorn, this is going to be fun.


Let’s hope so, but the infamous swamp which Trump promised to drain was in DC, not LA. Not that I complain, not at all.

Tommy Jensen

You can not drain the dual citizen Jews, it is anti-semite. If you want it to look like draining the swamp, you must take the goyim first……LOL…….we manipulated it, so this is the only thing you can do…..LOL.


I fully expect Weinstein to play the ‘ victim ‘ card in all of this. He is jewish after all. I wonder if he will be able to flee to Israel?

John Whitehot

I’m rather inclined to think that somebody wants to remind Syrians that the Saudis were behind the start of the civil war in the country, and now the Saudis are negotiating arms and energy deal with the closest ally of Syria – Russia.

There’s ziotard propaganda in this piece imho.

You can call me Al

Maybe, but I am sure the Syrians knew that already – hey even I did.

The Saudi arms deal is chicken feed; just more political manoeuvring.

What really cracked me up was the Saudi Prince boasting how he is going to return Muslim “back to the normal way, the one they had before” ……THEY NEVER HAD “NORMAL BEFORE” – it was made up, when the Country as formed.

Jaime Galarza

He meant a desert with nothing except camels and their shit and the “royals” as herders.

John Whitehot

Yes, I agree with you in general, although there’s people out there that are subject to that kind of prop.

as for the saud prince, it remains to be seen what they are going to do besides talking.

You can call me Al

It depends which Prince gets in – there is internal strife due to wanting the top jobs, money and keeping the old conservative ways.


But a lot, I mean a lot of people do not follow this war very intently, but still listen to the power media propaganda. It is incredibly important to be able to provide more than an opinion. Everyone’s got an opinion. Provide proof and it changes the ball game radically.


The enemies of Islam are not Christian, Jews or Sick or Hindu but the political leaders of Saudi Arab. There is no difference between the faces of the leaders of Saudi Arab and Satan.


Well well, North Atlantic Terrorist Organisation.


I wish Assad would invade Saudi Arabia and rename it to Syria 2. Most of the world problems (including terrorism) will suddenly vanish


So many lies out there nowadays to the point everyone is lying to form the true picture..

Can anyone really explain to me what benefit Saudi arabia has in seeing Assad fall? the answer is Zero? I would rather say that the Saudis give Assad alot of financial assistance in his war against the rebels. Hack I’m of the opinion that they covered all of the costs of Assad.

They support him to such an extent but masking it. they don’t want the status quo to be changed and lose their own throne


According to your world view, Saudis helped Syria from the day one, it was Iran who supported ISIS and AQ, and Israel attacks Syria on the order of Iran, because Iran helps the US $3 bn annually. And Trump loves Iran and hates Israel.


Whatever we are lead to believe is false and they are the ones putting out this false rivalries and myths of X helping y or Z helping H. No that is not the true picture of how things operate.

You may naturally believe the Saudi rulership is anti-Assad if your innocent minded and think from the sources you are feed? Look the House of saud is run like a family business company and they are living in the true ”Game of thrones world” and for them status quo means everything for them while Assad is a big ally. If he goes then they fear that they might be next.

They had everything riding on this war and they put everything behind Assad.

All the Iran vs Saudi arabia media propaganda is nothing more then a stage and act shows on International Tv debuts.

The same goes with US and Russian Rivalry it has been falsehood since the fall of the soviet and they have been allies since that time.

The same goes to the Iran vs US fake analogy. They have strong bond and always had. Ahmadinjad was in New York couple of years ago.


This is the second time I find myself unable to respond to you and your comments. You possess a weird gift. If you’re free and interested, there are a few PKK apologists and Zio-simpaticos on this board who may be interested to hire you, to shut people completely.

To satisfy my own curiosity, would you tell me your age, gender and the country which you lived the most time of your life?

——— Re. Ahmadinejad, he was 7 or 8 times in New York, the strange city which holds the office of the UN. He went there every year for the general assembly.


Wow…… Don´t agree.


in one word you want to say Assad and Iran was committing a ‘Takiyya’ ok..i get it and now know whos side you really are.


This DUMBASS is an ISRAELI/US/BRITISH/SAUDI/EU disinfo payed troll ! A monarchy (family) supporting a non-monarchy because it’s afraid it will fall if the non-monarchy falls too…give me 5min so i can stop laughing you human garbage, you have no soul, you sold it to the highest bidder…go collect your shekels and stop spreading lies you despicable human being !


You can laugh as you want but I’m doing the opposite because you took the bait..

You have to rather analyse then taking everything written on tabloids or media as what people think behind the scenes or gospel. I can tell you that it’s a completely different world then what you imagine and everything released is propaganda and story building and making people look good to their own local people etc etc.

The US Supports Assad and Saudi Arabia supports Assad and in fact they all support Assad. Look this people think different then you and I do. We may think from our own peoples perspective but they have diffrent perspective which is selfish Me and Me and Me and more Me.

The arab spring sacred the shit of the saudi monarchy So Assad surviving was there own tools of surviving. the Rebels may have had civilian support but never government and in fact they wanted them eradicated as soon as possible.

I’m just sick and tried of all the lies circulating the Internet. While we all know clearly The US is no rival to Assad and this is a fact otherwise they would have double personality disorder but that is not the case with a well run superpower like the US they know what they want and who they want but Assad is a friend this much is certain


What benefit does SA have with toppling Assad you ask?

Simple, Saudi Arabia’s main rival in the region is Iran, the main Shia power. SA is the main Sunni power, by virtue of hosting the two Holy Cities and having a metric fuckton of spare oil cash. Syria is allied to Iran as its regime is kinda Shia. By bringing down the Assad regime and installing a Sunni regime, even one composed of Jihadi headchoppers, Saudi Arabia gains in power and Iran loses power. It doesn’t take rocket science to see that SA has nothing to gain with supporting Assad and everything to gain by bringing him down. Which is why billions of dollars have been funneled to the FSA and all the other headchopper Jihadi groups, and not a single dollar to support Assad. Which is why SA also refuses to settle Syrian refugees. Because they fear that some of them might be Assad supporters and could cause problems inside SA.


Whatever meds you are on Mountains , they are not effective. It is certain now that you have dementia.

Luis Wolff

I live in Brazil and even here we know that Saudi Arabia is an US/Israel puppet that made everything possible to Assad’s fall. I have never seen such a stupid comentary.


Who Said the US wants Assad to fall? No brother alligance have changed. I admit that from the beginning the US, KSA and others were supporting the secular and democratic uprising and never forget this syrian civil war started as democratic uprising just like most of the arab spring.

SO they were allies until 2012-13 were more and more stream of islamists arrived and both changed the alliagance to Assad despite everything.

You see the Saudis are more afraid of the rebels then Assad and Assad winning hanged on their surivival and existens

Luis Wolff

Saudis finance all the extremists and salafists all over the world! Do you live in other planet or is really stupid?


That is exactly what current media feed people and they themselves are behind this to mask the behind the scenes. It’s marely fiction..

They are playing game of thrones in real life and want to survive against time. The only threat they see as threat is not Iran and that is what they tell you but no it’s a lie and just iran-saudi arabia throwing people off. The threat they focus on is what they call religious groups. They view them as the biggest security threat and fear that it may topple the monarcy hence why they did everything to save Assad

Dawn of Svarog

“House of saud is financing the fight against extremism allover the world” – you must be definitely paid troll to wrote something that stupid and untrue..


“…other planet or is really stupid?”

My vote is on the latter.

Dawn of Svarog

“Who Said the US wants Assad to fall?”

Pentagon, CIA , USA president, foreign ministry of USA, numerous senators, comentators, western and midle east politicians, media.. Google gives you 500 000 + links on memo “Assad must go” https://www.google.sk/search?q=assad+must+go&oq=assad+must+go&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.5759j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Are you stupid, or are you a paid troll?


So just because they said you believe they were speaking the truth? SOME people are just dumb out there nowadays.

If the US wanted Assad gone he would have been gone back in 2013-14 but that is not the case my friend.

It is as if you are saying the US suffers from double personality disorder? The Answer is no because they are doing things opposite then KO’ing Assad.

They are fighting his rivals and opponents and they even commited genocide in Raqqa against civilians while fighting ISIS. They are absolutely behind Assad.

I can’t believe some people are actully falling that easily to what tabloids write? You should instead write between the lines

Dawn of Svarog

i sugest u take ur meds pal..


“Who Said the US wants Assad to fall?” Seriously? the US officials said that so many times…. you are indeed super-stupid.


We all knew to a degree about what is going on, but this document is showing something interesting:

The support they give to the terrorists isn’t the whole story. They also plan strategy and tactics, choose targets and much more.

Tommy Jensen

“Free” Syrian Army and “Syrian opposition” under direct orders from a foreign power = all of them are traitors to their own country which are under a military attack from a foreign country.

Most laws on this planet says death penalty to both FSA members and “Syrian opposition”.


Well not “all’ of them are traitors, most of them actually are not even from Syria – they were just imported, foreign jihadists and mercs paid with Saudi money.

chris chuba

This is a direct link to the Govt. of Saudi Arabia. If we had a responsible press in the U.S. the State Dept should be asked why the Saudis aren’t being added to their list of terrorist states.


So what? Everybody knows who is behind Syria war. Are de guilty parties going to be indicted and sued to court? The answer is no, they will never answer for its actions nor feel worry about anything. If anybody has an idea on a possible and viable procedure, please let us know!

You can call me Al

That is the thing, EVERYBODY DOESNT, only a relatively small minority; I bet you over 80% of Americans blame Russian aggression and Assad committed genocide on his own people + the chemical attacks etc. – a similar but I guess less than 80% in many European Countries.

Same as Ukraine = Russian aggression.

Get ready for all the genocide!! in Africa next.


Well here in Europe many “mainstream” newspapers have been reporting responsibility of Qatar, Turkey, OTAN, etc…in Syria war. I guess that at least here in France 70% or more of the people are aware of what’s going on really in Syria. And about Ukraine, French people rather support Russia than US proxy Europe.

Jaime Galarza

However, the candidate that wanted to repair Franco Russian relations lost.


Indeed Lepen lost. But is the right wing a reasonable option for France?


” Everybody knows who is behind Syria war. ”

That statement is not true. Most Americans and other Westerners have little interest in the war in Syria and they prefer to spend their time with hedonistic trivia. Most will not even know or care where Syria is.

This national ignorance is an intended strategy of those who rule over us.


“..national ignorance..”

In America, a result of a fine tuned art developed by the CIA and it’s paid journalists, MSM controlled propaganda, censorship utilizing not just MSM but also google, youtube and facebook, a Congress attempting to purge news sites like RT and Sputnik as well as delegitimize any alternative news that doesn’t support the propaganda andddddd we can’t forget to mention the McCarthyite environment of ‘naming and shaming’ etc. etc. Of course in the EU, it’s vassal status assures that it gets similar treatment, though there are signs of life lately. Here’s hoping.

chris chuba

This is nothing less than a state sponsored act of terrorism by the Saudis against the people of Syria.

Oh, but the U.S. State Dept will drone on endlessly against the alleged plot by Iran to kill a Saudi ambassador on U.S. soil as if it was the rape of Nanking while indicting Iran as the #1 sponsor of terrorism. A non-event that was most likely staged by MEK or the Saudis themselves.


Criminals who should be brought to justice. I would be happy to be the one to poll the lever and hang every last one of the murdering criminals. I would pay handsomely for the privilege.


Saudis are enemies of Syria, and it was of the countries (together with Israle-USA-NATO-Turkey) which wanted to see Syria totally destroyed. Now, Saudis want to be friend of Russia, which is friend of Syria. Well, I guess, Saudis-Israel-USA-NATO are just prepering now the road to destroy Iran.

Carol Davidek-Waller

Dollars to doughnuts that the attacks were part and parcel of the frequent U.S. arms deals that the Saudis like to spend their oil money on rather than care for their people.. Another rat that the Obama administration was so fond of.


The other two rats being John Brennan and Huma Abiden , both converted to Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia . Agents of a foreign power while holding high rank in the US government . But none will dare call it treason , they are far too protected .


No one will do anything. No govt will go after S/A or USA. KARMA never fails and it will hit both No getting around karma.

Had enough.

The Saudi’s know they have lost in Syria and the truth is coming out. This is why they are kissing Russian ass. Saudi’s know Arab culture of blood feud and the Syrians will be looking for vengeance. What is so surprising in this mess, that the Saudi’s, the Turks and Israel. 1. Was saudi so out of touch thinking that Assad would be gone in months? 2. How did Erdogan not see that supporting the removal of Assad would not stir the Kurds? If Knew the Kurds would take advantage, how come Erdogan did not know. 3. An Israel too is squawking like a bitch. Hoping the war would destroy Hezbollah, they have come out of the war experienced, better armed and more battle hardened, and now Israel has the Iranian Revolutionary guard on their doorstep. What an absolute mess. They all miscalculated badly. Israel is making some big mistakes now. Just look at its 2006 war with Hezbollah. Israel effectively lost. Israel has become decadent and flabby and Hezbollah are not Palestinian kids throwing stones. They shoot back.


This is especially interesting timing, as John Brennan…the former CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia…became CIA Director on March 8, only 10 days before the attacks occurred.

Does anyone really believe Saudi Arabia or Qatar acts without the green light from DC?

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