Iraq's Shi'ite Militias Head to Syria to Fight Sunnis
Yesterday’s announcement of a merger between Jabhat al-Nusra, one of the key Syrian rebel forces, and al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) was discussed today by the Nusra leadership, which insists that they have always pledged allegiance to the al-Qaeda parent group.
The leadership downplayed the announcement, however, saying that they have never really kept al-Qaeda ties a secret. Al-Qaeda certainly hasn’t kept it a secret either, loudly endorsing the group on a regular basis.
The formalization of those ties complicates the Syrian rebellion, however, with secular factions getting ready to fight a secondary war with the Islamist blocs, which are getting stronger all the time.
Then there’s the Iraq connection. With AQI more formally involved in the Syrian war, Iraqi Shi’ite militias are less shy about sending their own fighters to Syria to attack them, carrying the Iraqi sectarian civil war across the border.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Syrian Turkmen Rebels Killed One Russian Pilot, Russians Rescued the Other - November 25th, 2015
- US Troops Suspended Over Attacking Afghan Hospital - November 25th, 2015
- Syria Insurgents Destroy Russian Rescue Helicopter With US Missile - November 24th, 2015
- Russia Deploys Air Defenses to Syria-Turkey Border - November 24th, 2015
- NATO Envoys Urge Turkey to Show Restraint on Russian Planes - November 24th, 2015