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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.
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.