“Al-Qaeda expands in Syria via Islamic State” Washpost


"The group, now known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, is by no means the largest of the loosely aligned rebel organizations battling to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and it is concentrated mostly in the northern and eastern provinces of the country. But with its radical ideology and tactics such as kidnappings and beheadings, the group has stamped its identity on the communities in which it is present, including, crucially, ­areas surrounding the main border crossings with Turkey.
Civilian activists, rival rebel commanders and Westerners, including more than a dozen journalists and relief workers, have been assassinated or abducted in recent months in areas where the Islamic State has a presence."   Washpost


 The name of this group in Arabic is "Dawla Islamiya f'il-Iraq wa ash-Sham."  "Sham" is a geographical term that can mean various things; north western Arabia, Syria, or Damascus would be some although there are specific terms for these things, "Dimashq," "Suriya," etc.  So "Levant" is only an approximation as a translation for "Sham."  Does that mean anything?  Yes.  It means that their aspirations are open ended in the region. 

The sign is specifically for this group.  pl      



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15 Responses to “Al-Qaeda expands in Syria via Islamic State” Washpost

  1. Medicine Man says:

    If they want to stand up and be recognized, I say good. I just hope their efforts in Syria are circling the drain.

  2. Tunde says:

    Let’s hope this shale gas thingymijig fulfills it’s potential so we can tell the entire region to frack off and let them sort themselves out.
    The ISIL and ANF had a leadership disagreement a while back but seem to have agreed that beheading is better than arguing. Don’t know why (gut feeling i guess) but I reckon droning Dr. Ayman Z would have a greater effect than UBL on the organization .

  3. The beaver says:

    OT: Crackdown in Egypt and deaths are mounting , including journalists.

  4. Harper says:

    Prince Bandar is the architect of the flooding of Syria with foreign jihadist fighters from Iraq, Tunisia, Libya, Saudi Arabia, etc. The ISIS group is the latest alphabet soup label for this dark age promotion. Ultimately it will blow up back in the face of the Saudi Monarchy. But for now, Bandar is the check book for the buildup of a Sunni vs. Shi’ite conflict that could rage for generations if it gets enough heat and traction. Already, there are Lebanese Sunni jihadists in Syria fighting against Hezbollah forces. Will it spill back over across the border into Lebanon? Almost certainly. Jordan is fragile, which is why Dempsey is there today, getting a hands-on sense of how the American sponsored operations inside Jordan, training Free Syrian Army officers, etc. is spreading further instability in the Kingdom. In Israel, Dempsey warned the top Israeli generals not to even consider a unilateral strike on Iran to preempt P5+1 success. The US is worried that the balance is tilting inside the Israeli security cabinet, despite the fact that the IDF leadership is still adamently opposed to crossing the US and launching unilateral strikes on Iran. Dempsey also warned against continuing missile strikes against Russian arms depots inside Syria, which could also escalate out of control.
    Back to Bandar, the Saudis are pursuing a policy of spreading the Sunni versus Shi’ite conflict all over the place. Reading the Washington Post profile of ISIS it almost made the Al Nusra Front appear to be reasonable.
    Until we come to a reckoning with the Saudi problem and really get that more under control, this mess is going to spread in intensity and breadth. Bad news!

  5. Matthew says:

    Tunde: I think many Arabs want us to leave the region. We just won’t go.

  6. Alba Etie says:

    Apparently we should have occupied Riyadh instead of Baghdad –

  7. Matthew says:

    Col: And General Dempsey contines to do brave service for his country. How he can maintain his composure when being lectured by this poseur is beyond me. See http://mondoweiss.net/2013/08/in-netanyahus-house-martin-dempsey-recommits-to-partnership.html
    Part of me wishes that General Dempsey would retire before he is forced to start pretending that Benny Glantz is his best friend.

  8. kao_hsien-chih says:

    Perhaps we should have occupied Washington instead…

  9. Matthew says:

    Harper: Is there really a Sunni v. Shia conflict, or is there instead a violent Sunni campaign against the Shia?

  10. elkern says:

    “Shale gas” is gas (methane+), not oil (gasoline+). Our transportation system still runs on oil, and fracking won’t fix that.

  11. robt willmann says:

    Any connection between the imported fighters in Syria and actions in Benghazi, Libya is again an issue as attorney Joseph diGenova, in an interview with WMAL radio on 12 August 2013, says that 400 surface to air missiles were stolen from Libya by unfriendly people (starting at 3 min. 17 sec. into the interview segment).
    He is representing at least one whistleblower regarding the attack on the U.S. facility in Benghazi in September 2012. It seems from the interview that the missiles had been in the possession of the U.S., most likely the CIA, and that the Benghazi [CIA] annex “was somehow involved in the process of the distribution of those missiles”, he said.
    DiGenova was the main prosecutor in the Jonathan Pollard spying case.
    Regarding Harper’s comment about the Saudis….
    It is becoming more obvious that the Saudi ruling family is going its own way to a certain extent despite the the U.S. government. The word is that Saudi Arabia is now selling its oil and receiving other currencies in payment for it in addition to the U.S. dollar. This can weaken the Petro-Dollar, which became the support for the U.S. paper “dollar” (Federal Reserve Note) after president Nixon unilaterally ended the convertibility of the paper dollar into gold in 1971. The Saudis and other OPEC members agreed to sell their oil to others only if the buyers used U.S. dollars to pay for it. The Saudis then used some of the “dollars” to buy U.S. government debt and to play in the stock market casino to help keep it going. This also forced other countries to hassle with exchanging their currencies into dollars and eating any negative effects from the rates of converting their currencies into dollars.
    Perhaps the Saudis are amplifying the mess in Syria because that is the policy of the Obama administration, France, and Britain, and they thereby can kill two birds with one stone: they get some protection from the U.S., et. al., and get to promote their Sunni-Shia conflict.

  12. Alba Etie says:

    Food for thought – to paraphrase Shakespeare “first we kill all the lobbyist ”

  13. robt willmann says:

    This just in (15 August) … the Associated Press reports that a large car bomb has gone off in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, killing at least 14 and wounding 212, according to the “National News Agency”. The bombing took place in an area in which Hizbullah is established, the Rweiss district.
    More action by Bandar? Western intel services? Others?

  14. Amir says:

    Bandar’s gang making themselves more popular with the locals:

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