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Terrorist groups in Syria are joining forces. The Syrian Arab Republic’s civil war, which began in March of 2011, has created an environment conducive to the growth and coordination of transnational jihadist groups.
On April 9, a group known as the Islamic State of Iraq, an offshoot of Al-Qaeda’s core organization, announced it is merging with the Syrian jihadist group, Jabhat al-Nusra. (See my Facebook report on Al-Nusra posted 01.09.2013).
Due to the growing number of terrorist groups in Syria, it appears a post-Assad regime will be run by the likes of Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra – an Al-Qaeda affiliate out of Iraq, Hamas, and now a group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. (Levant is an old term that refers to an area that included what is modern Syria today).
The leader of the group known as the Islamic State of Iraq, al-Baghdadi, claims that Al-Nusra has actually been a part of his group’s extended network. Not surprising. Intelligence sources have indicated over the years that Iraq’s jihadists aid and abet Syria’s militants. And Syria, a state sponsor of terrorism, has served as a base of support for jihadists in Iraq for a number of years. Now Iraqi jihadists are returning the favor and helping to consolidate the power base of Syrian terrorists inside Syria.
Moreover, this newly announced jihadist coalition means Al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria’s Jabhat Al-Nusra have combined forces to spread Al-Qaeda’s influence in countries bordering Israel to the north and to the east.
This development is quite serious in light of Al-Qaeda’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri’s calls for Islamist rebels, fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, to establish an Islamic state in Syria and re-establish an Islamic caliphate to rule worldwide.
The Islamic Umayyad Caliphate, 661-750 CE, was once established in what is modern Syria today. The seat of its government was located in Damascus, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Due to Muslim conquests, the Umayyad Caliphate covered 5.79 million square miles making it the fifth largest empire ever to exist. (By way of a geographical comparison, the United States is 3.794 million square miles).
The possibility of a radical Islamic regime on Israel’s border will further destabilize the region and compromise Israel’s security and that of U.S. personnel and strategic interests in the region.
On the subject of Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s replacement, Zawahiri ordered the murder of U.S. Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi where elements of Al-Qaeda still remain entrenched and in control of Benghazi in 2013. (Also, see my Facebook post for 10.04.2012).
And who helped make this happen – President Obama and hard working Americans like you who pay too many taxes to support a failed foreign policy approach in the Middle East.
Obama facilitated the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise to power in Egypt, the President helped topple Muammar Qaddafi in Libya, facilitating the powerful operation of groups like Libya’s Islamic Fighting Group, (LIFG), and he supports rebels operating in Syria supported by Hamas, Al-Qaeda, and numerous Al-Qaeda affiliates using American taxpayer dollars that continue to compromise America’s national security interests and that of our allies.