ISIS reconciles with Jabhat al-Nusra as Syria air strikes continue

The Guardian reports: Air strikes continued to target Islamic State (Isis) positions near the Kurdish town of Kobani and hubs across north-east Syria on Sunday, as the terror group moved towards a new alliance with Syria’s largest al-Qaida group that could help offset the threat from the air.

Jabhat al-Nusra, which has been at odds with Isis for much of the past year, vowed retaliation for the US-led strikes, the first wave of which a week ago killed scores of its members. Many Nusra units in northern Syria appeared to have reconciled with the group, with which it had fought bitterly early this year.

A senior source confirmed that al-Nusra and Isis leaders were now holding war-planning meetings. While not yet formalised, the addition of at least some al-Nusra numbers to Isis would strengthen the group’s ranks and further its reach at a time when air strikes are crippling its funding sources and slowing its advances in both Syria and Iraq.

Al-Nusra, which has direct ties to al-Qaida’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, denounced the attacks as a “war on Islam”, in an audio statement posted over the weekend. A senior al-Nusra figure told the Guardian that 73 members had defected to Isis last Friday alone and that scores more were planning to swear allegiance in coming days. [Continue reading…]

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2 thoughts on “ISIS reconciles with Jabhat al-Nusra as Syria air strikes continue

  1. Robert

    There was never all that much difference between Al Nusra and ISIS anyway. Both have their roots in exactly the same places, (Washington. Turkey and the Gulf States)

    But Obama’s air strikes, (which cannot achieve anything at all on the ground) do act as a great recruitment campaign for ISIS. Their power and influence should spread accordingly.

  2. Paul Woodward

    Actually, there are significant differences between Nusra and ISIS. Unlike in ISIS, the fighters in Nusra are predominantly Syrian and the rest of the Syrian opposition views Nusra as having played an important role in the fight against Assad. That’s why the U.S. airstrikes have prompted pro-Nusra rallies in Syria — not pro-ISIS rallies.

    As Aaron Zelin tweeted: “Seems US has already lost the narrative on the ground in Syria in less than a week. ‘Moderate’ rebels condemning bombings + pro-JN rallies.”

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