Baghdad Traces Iraqi Terror Links To Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra - Al ...
The Iraqi government is tracing the links between the Islamic State of Iraq, which is the Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda, and Jabhat al-Nusra, which is active in the Syrian revolution against Bashar al-Assad’s regime.Iraqi politicians from the State of Law Coalition, which heads the government, have been circulating reports stating that Jabhat al-Nusra represents “the Iraqi vein” in the armed groups of the Syrian opposition. Shiite parties are concerned about the effects of al-Qaeda fighters formerly based in Iraq moving to the Syrian arena.A senior security official from the office of the chief of staff of the Iraqi armed forces told Al-Monitor that the government has finally obtained reliable information regarding the movement of Islamic State of Iraq militants to Syria. These militants, who adhere to the wing close to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the group’s former leader who was killed in 2007, cross the Iraqi-Syrian border near Anbar and Mosul.In the demonstrations that erupted recently in Sunni-dominated provinces against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, many demonstrators have raised the flags of the Free Syrian Army, which the government has taken as an indicative of the nature and demands of those demonstrations.The security official from Maliki's office, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “The militants’ relocation to Syria is not being done arbitrarily [...] There is a sophisticated scheme to shift Islamic State of Iraq activities to Syria.”The official, who is a politician close to Maliki, said that high-up Iraqi leaders are providing the necessary logistical and material support to facilitate the move, saying, “Iraqi insurgents are obtaining passports, and border crossings are being coordinated to facilitate travel to Syria.”A member of the Shiite State of Law Coalition stated, “The influence of the Syrian Jabhat al-Nusra extends into Iraq, and it will reveal the involvement of politicians in facilitating the travel of militants.”
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