This will throw a pickle in the grand scheme of Ketchup Kerry. With al-Qaeda essentially conceding the more radical ISIL Army is the more powerful Islamist force – the Ideological alignment within Syria leaves barely a ‘smidgen’ of room for moderation. Of course this merge begs the question how long will Russia stay de-facto aligned to Assad?
SYRIA – A Syrian rebel group closely aligned with al Qaeda’s official central leadership has switched sides and is now supporting an ultra-violent offshoot, following the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant’s blitzkrieg attack on Iraq, according to U.S. officials and reports from the region.
A local unit of the Al Nusra Front—the official rebel group of al Qaeda in Syria—agreed to back the ISIL on Wednesday.
The merger of one portion of al Nusra with ISIL is being viewed by government intelligence analysts and others as a troubling indicator that the inner battle between the two groups may be shifting in ISIL’s favor.
Sebastian Gorka, a counterterrorism specialist and military theorist at the Marine Corps University, said the defection of the Nusra group to ISIL, also known as ISIS, is very significant.
“ISIS and al Nusra have fought each other in the past,” Gorka said. Nusra’s swearing loyalty to ISIL “is a clear sign that ISIS is now more important than the original al Qaeda,” he said.
“With this act, in theory all al Nusra territory is now under ISIS control,” Gorka said. “This makes the de facto establishment of a proto-caliphate territory straddling Iraq and Syria a real possibility and underlines the absurdity of the Obama administration’s push to fund and train the rebels in Syria.”
President Obama acknowledged Thursday that ISIL attacks in Iraq are one sign that, contrary to his earlier remarks, international terrorists are gaining strength.
“They’re gaining strength in some places, but we’ve also got a lot better at protecting ourselves,” Obama told ABC News.
Obama campaigned for reelection in 2012 declaring al Qaeda was on the “path to defeat” and asserting the United States would end the war on terrorism launched after the 2001 attacks.
ISIL, a fanatical terrorist group led by Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, now controls large sections of central Iraq. The group has declared that its goal is the creation of an Islamic caliphate throughout the region.
It initially set up al Nusra but broke off ties in February. Its numbers are not known, but estimates range from 5,000 to 10,000 fighters. (read more)