Might Islamic State, al-Qaida Team Up in Iraq?

Voice of America News reports: “As its losses mount in Iraq, will a less potent Islamic State merge with its precursor, al-Qaida?

That speculation ramped up this week after Iraqi Vice President Ayad Allawi told Reuters he had information from Iraqi and regional contacts that ‘the discussion has started now’ concerning a ‘possible alliance’ between the two militant groups.

Referring to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Ayman al-Zawahiri, the head of al-Qaida, Allawi said, ‘There are discussions and dialogue between messengers representing Baghdadi and representing Zawahiri.’

But analysts say ideological and tactical differences and years of open animosity between leaders will need to be overcome before the groups can align.

‘While dialogue is one thing, a prospective alliance is quite another,’ Milo Comerford, an analyst at the Centre on Religion and Geopolitics in London, wrote this week in Newsweek magazine…”

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