IS in talks with Al Qaeda: Iraqi Vive President Ayad Allawi
Apr 18, Baghdad: Islamic State leader is in talks with Al-Qaeda about a possible alliance, Iraq’s Vice President Ayad Allawi said, citing information from Iraqi and other regional sources.
“The discussion has started now… There are discussions and dialogue between messengers representing Baghdadi and representing Zawahiri,” Allawi told Reuters, adding that it is currently unclear how exactly the two groups may operate together.
The IS has been pushed out of the part of Mosul that lies east of the Tigris River, it still controls the towns of Qaim, Hawija and Tal Afar in Iraq, as well as its de facto capital in Syria, Raqqa. Even if IS loses all territory in Iraq, it won't automatically cease to exist, Allawi noted.
“I can’t see ISIS disappearing into thin air,” Allawi said. “They will remain covertly in sleeping cells, spreading their venom all over the world.”
According to him while coalition forces have been reporting on their military advances, civilian casualties have been piling up – both at the hands of terrorists and sometimes as a result of indiscriminate shelling by the US-led coalition. International human rights groups, have warned that the humanitarian plight in war-torn Mosul has “escalated to the limit.
“Daesh [Arabic acronym for IS] would drive the victims to Khasfa in convoys of minibuses, trucks and pickups. The men had their hands bound and their eyes blindfolded. They were taken to the sinkhole and shot in the back of the head,” 40-year-old local villager Mahmoud told the Daily Telegraph at the time.
IS made major gains in Syria and Iraq in 2014, when it declared a Caliphate and its fighters began looting banks, taking over oil fields and introducing taxes on the territories they took over. These became the group’s main sources of income, but according to a recent study, all of them saw a “dramatic decline” in the course of the past two years, with local fighters starting to push back militants with air support from Russia and the international coalition.
The Oslo Times International News Network