Al-Qaeda has urged militant groups in Iraq and Syria to put their differences aside and unite against a US coalition which will strike against the Islamic State (IS). There are reports that IS has gone underground following the US airstrike announcement.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb made a rare joint plea to jihadist organizations, which was posted online.
“Stop the infighting between you and stand as one rank against America’s campaign and that of its satanic alliance that lies in wait for all of us, to break us stick by stick,” they stated, according to Reuters.
The groups urged militant fighters and their supporters to “stop the campaigns of mutual slander, and direct the honest pens and swords against the head of infidelity, America, and its unjust aggressive alliance.”
“In the face of this unjust crusaders’ campaign, we have no choice but to stand in front of the hater of Islam and Muslims, the US and its allies, who are the real enemies of the Muslim world,” said the statement by the Al-Qaeda groups.
IS, which was previously aligned with Al-Qaeda, has distanced itself from the organization in recent months. It has also engaged in battles with other Islamic militant groups in Syria amid the country’s civil war, including the Nusra Front – which is backed by Al-Qaeda.
Since the summer, the Islamic State – formerly known as ISIS – has become the main militant group in Syria and Iraq, as it launched a major offensive capturing large swaths of territory.
Previously, Al-Qaeda even went as far as distancing itself from IS. In February, Al-Qaeda insisted in an online statement that IS was “not a branch of Al-Qaeda.”
Some of the ten alleged Al-Qaeda members sit in a holding-room in court during their hearing in the Yemeni capital Sanaa (AFP Photo / Gamal Noman)
Documents which appeared following Osama bin Laden’s death state that Al-Qaeda’s former leader was uncomfortable with the extreme brutality of IS, and recommended that Al-Qaeda should cut all ties with the organization.
It has emerged that Al-Qaeda recently made anappeal to IS to release Alan Henning, a British hostage, on the grounds that he was an honest and upright aid worker who genuinely tried to ease the plight of suffering Muslims.
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