In a move with potentially enormous regional consequences, the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Pakistan’s primary militant faction, has pledged its backing to ISIS, promising to provide the caliphate with fighters and “every possible support.”
The comments were made in a statement by TTP central committeee spokesman Shahidullah Shahid, who urged other Islamist factions to “put all your rivalries behind you” to unite against ISIS’ foes.
TTP splinter group Jammat ul-Ahrar also expressed support for ISIS in their own statement, saying they are willing to mediate a settlement between ISIS, al-Nusra, and other militant factions within Syria.
Though Shahid’s comments made on oblique references to “enemies” of ISIS, the Jammat ul-Ahrar statement was more straightforward about what was driving the push toward ISIS, saying the “infidels have formed a coalition to attack the Muslims of Iraq and Sham,” and that the various factions that identify themselves as part of the Mujahideen “are united against this aggression.”
The move risks increasing the profile and aggressiveness of the Pakistani factions, in the wake of Pakistani efforts to try to negotiate a settlement with the TTP. The US war could be fueling blowback across the world.