Carnegie Endowment said:On April 9, 2013, a voice message by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi—who took over as emir of the ISI after Abu Omar was killed in April 2010—announced to the world that the Nusra Front, a jihadi opposition group in Syria, was simply a cover for the activities of the ISI in Syria. In his message, Baghdadi declared that the two jihadi groups would now work under a single name: the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
The Nusra Front leader, Abu Mohammad al-Golani, did not respond favorably as he was anxious to maintain his leadership of the organization. He admitted that he had fought in Iraq under Baghdadi’s command and that the Nusra Front had benefited from funds, weapons, and fighters sent by the ISI. He also sought to preserve the jihadi identity of the Nusra Front, ending his statement with a “renewal of allegiance” to Ayman al-Zawahiri.
This was not simply a sop to the ideological hardliners in the Nusra Front. It also meant that he was designating a potential arbiter that he knew would be favorable to him. Even if the ISI and the central al-Qaeda leadership shared many ideological tenets, there were still doctrinal disagreements between the ISI leaders and Zawahiri—for example, on what attitude to take toward the masses of ordinary Shia Muslims in the Arab world.
As expected, Zawahiri took the side of Golani and urged the Islamic State to retreat from Syria. But Baghdadi retorted that the ISIL would remain in both Iraq and Syria and that he would never comply with “the borders of Sykes-Picot,” referring to the agreement between London and Paris that divided Arab lands into British and French spheres of influence after World War I.
This event is singular and impotant. It is (understandably generating a LOT of interest and discussion on the forum.
So, like the Ukraine Crisis, a seperate thread is being opened for it. The posts from the Middle East Military News, and the World NEWS: Braking News threads about this topic will be moved here.
Keep it civil, keep it professional, and do not get caught up in politics or ideologies.
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