Kobani battle could lead Islamic State back to al-Qaeda

An explosion following an air-strike is seen in the Syrian town of Kobani from near the Mursitpinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc, in Sanliurfa province, October 28, 2014. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

WASHINGTON (AP) — Al-Qaeda is using US-led coalition airstrikes in Syria as a reason to extend olive branches to the renegade Islamic State group, saying the two should stop feuding and join forces to attack Western targets — a reunification that intelligence analysts say would allow al-Qaeda to capitalize on the younger group’s ruthless advance across the region.

Analysts are closely watching al-Qaeda’s repeated overtures, and while a full reconciliation is not expected soon — if ever — there is evidence the two groups have curtailed their infighting and are cooperating on the Syrian battlefield, according to activists on the ground, US officials and experts who monitor jihadi messages.

Al-Qaeda is saying, “Let’s just have a truce in Syria,” said Tom Joscelyn, who tracks terror groups for the Long War Journal. “That is what’s underway now. … What we have seen is that local commanders are entering into local truces. There are definitely areas where the two groups are not fighting”…

The perils of doing virtually ANYTHING in the Middle East. Part of the problem is that there are not clear ‘sides’ as we are accustomed to in the West. During WW II, there were two sides. Even as the war drew to an end and things began to deteriorate with Stalin, the alliance remained firm until WW II was definitely over and won.

In the Middle East, there are a bewildering number of ‘sides’ and the alliances keep shifting.  Syrian Kurds are pleased with the intervention by the West, but many Arabs have little interest in Kurds and see it as just more ‘meddling’ by the evil West in their affairs. Such is the nature of tribal fighting.