Al-Qaeda is all set to lay down its permanent camp in Syria; planning to establish an emirate of its own. It indicates that the group “could probably throw out its rival ISIS”.
According to New York Times, American and European counterterrorism officials have received reports that Al-Qaeda has furtively dispatched around a dozen of its veteran fighters to Syria. Reports say that the group is planning to set its secret headquarters. And through the barrel of Al-Nusra front – an affiliated group, Al-Qaeda plans to shoot out its new step towards extremism.
As reported by RT, the group’s leader in Pakistan, Ayman al-Zawahiri, released a statement which indicates the formation of an emirate in Syria is in the tube. However, some of the Nusrat leaders do not support the timing of such move.
Charles Lister, from the Middle East Institute, said: “The combination of an Al-Qaeda emirate and a revitalized Al-Qaeda central leadership in northern Syria would represent a confidence boost for the jihadi organization’s global brand,”
“Al-Qaeda would present itself as the smart, methodical and persistent jihadi movement that, in contrast to the Islamic State, had adopted a strategy more aligned with everyday Sunni Muslims,” Lister wrote.
In recent years, Al-Qaeda has been buckling down hard to compete for the presence of Islamic State in Syria. And although both groups have the same intentions, they have different tactics.
Presently, The Nusrat front has 5000 to 10000 of fighters in Syria. ISIS has between 19,000 and 25,000 fighters, spread across Iraq and Syria.
Now here come some critical questions, will the level of extremism be high with the presence of both organisation or will the competition between both the groups pose a threat to each other ?
According to western officials, the new entity of Al-Qaeda could pose a bigger threat to the United States and European countries. Also, they would be able to recruit people from Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon. It would be a tough face-off in the country where ISIS has already been nurturing its roots.