28 June, Wednesday


Daesh Seeks Partnership With Al-Qaeda to Prolong Reign of Terror in Iraq

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Daesh terrorists will only regain power if they merge with al-Qaeda, Jaume Pinos, Associate Professor in International Relations at the University of Southern Denmark, told Sputnik.

In an interview with Sputnik, Jaume Pinos, Associate Professor in International Relations at the University of Southern Denmark, said Daesh terrorists will only regain power if they merge with the notorious international terrorist group al-Qaeda.

On Monday, Iraqi Vice President Ayad Allawi quoted regional sources as saying that that Daesh militants in Iraq are allegedly in talks with al-Qaeda extremists to discuss forging a possible alliance, Reuters reported.

Allawi, however, added that it remained unclear how the two terrorist groups plan to work together. Daesh had become an offshoot of al-Qaeda in Iraq by 2004, but later broke off and became its rival.

Right now, the two groups remain at loggerheads over a spate of ideological and tactical differences.

The latest report comes as Daesh is ceding ground in Iraq, where it has already lost more than three-fourths of the territory it had seized in the summer of 2014.

Currently the group is embattled in its stronghold Mosul, which Iraqi government troops have been trying to liberate since last October.

Speaking to Sputnik, Jaume Pinos said that "the rumors" about Daesh's planned merger with al-Qaeda "should be taken into account," especially given that Daesh earlier acted as an al-Qaeda affiliate.

"So it's not surprising they are considering a potential alliance," he said.

Referring to Daesh, which he recalled continues to lose regional clout, Pinos said that "they are very well aware" that a merger with al-Qaeda is "the only solution and the only way to regain power and call the shots once again."

He said that he is also interested in the moral consequences of the possible al-Qaeda-Daesh alliance.

"If this merger materializes, it will be humiliation and a slap in the face of all those who in the past few months have tried to convince us that al-Qaeda no longer [exists] and that it is not a terrorist organization," Pinos added.

He did not rule out that the two's merger will take place, "if Daesh and al-Qaeda manage to forget the rift that they have as the result of an internal civil war between the two groups." In any case, only time will tell whether the merger occur, according to Pinos.

Touching upon "the Trump factor", Pinos pointed out that "if the United States continues its interventionism line, such groups as al-Qaeda and Daesh will no doubt increase their relative and territorial power on the ground, not only in Syria but also neighboring Iraq," he concluded.

Late last month, a report by the private intelligence firm Soufan Group claimed that al-Qaeda in the Maghreb terror group is quietly expanding in North Africa by merging with local terrorist groups at a time when global attention is focused on defeating Daesh in the Middle East.

The consolidation of the Sahel's extremist groups into an existing al-Qaeda franchise… makes clear that this model remains highly successful for al-Qaeda" the report said.

The report cited a March 2 video statement by the leaders of several prominent North African terror groups pledging allegiance to al-Qaeda's central leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, as well as al-Qaeda in the Maghreb leader Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud

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