In a move that’s going to cause no end of confusion in the naming of factions in the Syrian Civil War, al-Qaeda’s general command today announced that they have severed all ties with the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (ISIS) faction, colloquially known as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).
ISIS is the more recent name AQI gave itself in 2012 when it expanded into Syria. The group was endorsed by al-Qaeda’s parent organization in 2004, during the US occupation of Iraq, and appeared to remain so throughout the war.
But al-Qaeda has another dog in the fight in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra. The group is directly affiliated with the parent al-Qaeda, despite a failed attempt by AQI to “merge” the two organizations under their direct control.
Having two al-Qaedas in Syria (and arguably three, since the Islamic Front’s leadership includes a number of self-proclaimed al-Qaeda members) wasn’t a problem until the past few weeks, when rebel infighting began spiraling out of control and Jabhat al-Nusra began engaging in open fights with AQI/ISIS. This led Western media outlets to dub Jabhat the “good al-Qaeda,” and AQI the “bad al-Qaeda.” Apparently al-Qaeda sees things much the same way.
A top pro-al-Qaeda Saudi cleric, who has moved to Syria to oversee the assorted jihads ongoing there, echoed al-Qaeda’s sentiment as well, urging fighters loyal to AQI to defect to Jabhat al-Nusra, or failing that at least join the Islamic Front.
6 thoughts on “Al-Qaeda Severs Ties With ‘al-Qaeda in Iraq’”
Not sure what to make of this, I would need to see the original franchise agreement.
Ohh what a web they weave…
something so apparently fragmented /fragile/shambolic as these jihadi splinter groups to me underlines their very artificial nature. do they know what they want/ are fighting for??
whether those who belong to these groups know or not, their principal reason for being/having been drawn together appears to be as cat's paws for foreign /outside players wanting regime change…so, does their disarray /lack of unity reflect a disarray on the part of their puppet masters or is this some sort of theatre?
Sounds like bullsh!t severs ties with bullsh!t
If Al Qaeda has cut ties with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, does this mean that they meet the qualifications set by Secretary Kerry and President Obama as well as senators Graham and McCain as moderates and eligible to receive American arms? If so, are we still at war with Al Qaeda in Yemen or in Iraq or in Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world? Did we just win the terror war by adopting them?
The reason this is so confusing is because there really isn't any such thing as Al-Qaeda. It is just a brand name that people slap on themselves or on other groups, depending on whether or not they like them. Al-Qaeda does not have a president, a legislature, an army, an air force, a capital city, or even an office, for that matter. It doesn't have a flag, a national anthem, or a coherent policy. It doesn't have by-laws, a budget, a newspaper. Try looking it up on Google. But it is convenient if you want to call attention to yourself, or if you want to have an enemy that you can spend lots of money fighting.
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