Al Qaeda in Syria/Iraq Doubles in Size as ISIS and Al Nusra Kiss and Make Up

isis qaeda

ISIS didn’t just beat the Iraqi military. It also beat Syria’s dominant Al Qaeda group, the Al-Nusra Front, which like ISIS had also been spawned from Al Qaeda in Iraq. The Al-Nusra Front began shooting at ISIS when the latter invaded Syria and claimed authority over it. But now they kissed and made up.

It’s all one big happy Al Qaeda family.

The number of Islamist extremists fighting for ISIS could double after al-Qaeda’s 15,000 strong offshoot in Syria is said to have pledged allegiance to the militant group.

Al-Qaeda’s Syrian offshoot Wednesday made an oath of loyalty to the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) at a key town on the Iraqi border, a monitor said.

News of the merger between ISIS and the al-Nusra front were made by both the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and an Islamist website this afternoon.

Images widely shared by ISIS supporters online appeared to show al-Nusra’s alleged leader in the Albu Kamel region, Abu Yusuf al-Masri, embracing ISIS fighters after apparently taking an oath of allegiance.

Ayman al-Zawahiri, the overall leader of al-Qaeda, has previously disowned ISIS and proclaimed the al-Nusra Front as its official Syrian affiliate.

An internal report of ISIS’ activities last year put its total number of fighters in Iraq and Syria at 15,000. With al-Nusra boasting a similar sized or possibly even larger force, today’s merger could double the total number of militant Sunni Islamists fighting under the ISIS banner in the Middle East.

Hardest hit are all the “news stories” about how ISIS was too “extreme” for Al Qaeda. So much for that. But nothing to worry about.

As Barack Hussein Obama once said, “If a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.”

The jayvee team is taking over two countries and has its own air force.

  • Pete

    ISIS is going to come into conflict with the native Sunni of Iraq. ISIS could let the native Sunni take the brunt of Shia/Govt. attacks. They would be easier to defeat later. In the meantime ISIS could shift forces into Syria to take advantage of the Iraqi militia leaving for homeland defense. With internal lines maybe ISIS can move faster and get local superiority.

    People have been saying Assad might have problems holding gains if the Iraqi militia leaves. So it is no secret. Could ISIS take out Assad or make substantial gains and then swing back and hit Iraq again making gains all around?

  • wileyvet

    Do we all know why they are called Sunni Muslims? Because they adhere to the the conduct, character example teachings and sayings of the prophet Muhammad in the collections known as the Sunnah, the basis for Sharia Law. But of course the violence has nothing to do with Islam, right?

  • chelmer

    How do you finance an army that size? Who’s footing the bill? What’s it costing them? Logistically, how do they obtain supplies?

    • FrontandCenter

      We did and we are.

  • ping

    I’ll have to wait and see about these reports being confirmed, but you’re right about much of the media being wrong about the origins of the feud between al-Qaeda and ISIS. Sure ISIS may have made Nusra look moderate in comparison, but Aymin al-Zawahiri was always concerned about al-Qaeda in Iraq’s ruthlessness alienating potential supporters back from when Zarqawi was their leader. Yet neither Zawahiri nor bin Laden renounced them entirely until recently. Did Zawahiri just have a change of heart? No, he got mad at their flagrant disobedience for his authority over them.

  • FrontandCenter

    I’m shocked! No really. um… shocked.

  • truebearing

    Yes, ISIS are the bad guys. The old Al Qaeda is moderate and has moral standards. Sure they do.

    The leftist media is projecting. Their strategy for years has been to highlight outlandishly left ideas to make their immediate agenda look comparatively moderate. Now they are telling us that ISIS was somehow too extreme for the extremists, perhaps in an attempt to humanize them, or perhaps because they can’t stop themselves from thinking in dialectical dhimmitude.

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  • ObamaYoMoma

    Hardest hit are all the “news stories” about how ISIS was too “extreme” for Al Qaeda. So much for that. But nothing to worry about.

    There is nothing extreme about waging jihad, as every Muslim in the world wages it in one form or another. The same with lopping off infidel’s heads, Muslims have been routinely lopping off infidel’s heads since the days Muhammad was still rampaging and pillaging infidels on the Arabian Peninsular. It may seem to be extreme by our civilized polite society, but by Islamic totalitarian society, it’s the normal routine.

  • David

    It reminds me of that scene in braveheart where the Irish and Scottish armies initially look like they are going to fight but then team up to fight the English. Also, anyone want to take bets how long Jordan will last? I’m actually impressed that Jordan has lasted as long as it has but it’s prob only a matter of time until they go down too.

  • Texas Patriot

    The leadership of ISIS would probably find it oddly amusing that they are still being referred to as Al Qaeda by anyone with more than a cursory knowledge of the subject. Al Qaeda was formed under the leadership of Osama Bin Laden, largely a self-educated scholar of Islamic studies, as a loosely knit global terror organization ironically called “The Base” simply because it had no physical location. ISIS on the other had was formed under the leadership of Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, who has a Ph.D. in Islamic studies from a Baghdad University, and unlike Al Qaeda, was specifically organized with the intent and purpose to reestablish an Islamic Caliphate in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Israel. Other than the fact that they are both rooted in fundamentalist Islamic teachings and that many current members of ISIS were former members of Al Qaeda, there is very little similarity and virtually no continuity or command and control between the two organizations. In fact, at this point they should probably be regarded as competitors for new recruits and new funding, if not outright adversaries of each other.