Syrian And Iraqi Al-Qaeda Groups Merge As US Troops Arrive: The Full Iraq Update

Tyler Durden's picture

Here are the most notable news updates from overnight events in Iraq.

  • Syrian, Iraqi Al-Qaeda Groups Merge

As we noted previously, Iraq scourge ISIS is well-versed in the ways of corporate marketing, branding and etiquette, having released annual reports for at least the past two years. As it turns out, in what may be the most stunning update overnight from Iraq, ISIS is also proficient in corporate finance, namely mergers and acquisitions, after what Reuters reports was an effective merger of unequals after Syria's al Qaeda, aka the Nusra Front, pledged allegiance to the formerly rival group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in a Syrian border town, a monitoring group said, strengthening ISIS's control of both sides of the Syria-Iraq frontier.

From Reuters:

Fighters from Nusra Front, the Syrian wing of al Qaeda, took an oath of loyalty to ISIL in the town of Albu Kamal, close to the Iraqi border, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and an Islamist website said on Wednesday.


The central leadership of al Qaeda has disowned ISIL and proclaimed the Nusra Front as its official Syrian affiliate.


ISIL, which seized Iraq's main northern city Mosul on June 10, has since marched virtually unopposed towards Baghdad and is in control of major border posts on the frontier with Syria.


The group also controls large parts of eastern Syria, where it has both clashed with rival rebels groups and occasionally fought alongside them, complicating the three-year-old insurgncy against President Bashar al-Assad.


Twitter users posted a photo they said showed the Nusra Front leader of Albu Kamal, Abu Yusuf al-Masri, swearing loyalty to one of ISIL's prominent fighters. "It is very important because Nusra is strong in Albu Kamal," the Observatory's Rami Abdurrahman said. "We cannot say (ISIL) controls Albu Kamal but we can say they are now in Albu Kamal."

So now that Al Qaeda has mastered mergers, can they please already hire Goldman for the IPO as well? There is a lot of other people's money burning a hole in the pockets of the 1%, and it will find its way to ISIS. One way or another.

* * *

  • Maliki defies Kerry agreement, rules out national emergency government

According to AFP, as if John Kerry wasn't humiliated enough in Egypt already, today his "accomplishment" to get Maliki to agree to a emergency government, is also up in flames.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Wednesday ruled out forming a national emergency government to confront a Sunni militant offensive that has overrun large parts of the country.


“The call to form a national emergency government is a coup against the constitution and the political process,” Maliki said in a televised address. “The dangerous goals of forming a national emergency government are not hidden... It is an attempt by those who are against the constitution to eliminate the young democratic process and steal the votes of the voters,” said the Iraqi leader.


Maliki’s electoral bloc won by far the most seats in April 30 parliamentary elections with 92, nearly three times as many as the next biggest party, and the incumbent himself tallied 720,000 personal votes, also far and away the most. But he fell short of a majority in Iraq’s Council of Representatives, and has had to court the support of rivals in order to form a government.


A recent militant offensive led by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, has put pressure on Maliki from both domestic opponents and overseas, with critics alleging his policies are sectarian.

So with the democratic route out of the picture, it means the US flipflops on the ground will have to be activated.

* * *

  • US Troops Arrive In Baghdad On ISIS Mission

According to SkyNews, about 40 US special operations personnel have arrived in the Middle East to assess the Iraqi response to the invasion of ISIS.

The first team of American military advisers has arrived in Iraq to help the country tackle the threat from Islamist insurgents. About 40 of the 300 expected to be deployed to the Middle Eastern country were described by the Pentagon as having "started their mission".


Admiral John Kirby told reporters that two "initial assessment teams" have been deployed in Baghdad.


He said their role would be to assess the Iraqi army and not to engage in attacks on militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), who have seized several towns north of Baghdad.


Admiral Kirby said: "This isn't about rushing to the rescue.


"These teams will assess the cohesiveness and readiness of the Iraqi security forces ... and examine the most effective and efficient way to introduce follow-on advisers."

Scratch flipflops, make that boots.

* * *

  • Syrian Warplanes Strike in Western Iraq, Killing at Least 50 People

So now the US is allied with Iraq, Iran, Saudi, and, drumroll, Syria in chasing the same band of Jihadist extremist it itself was cultivating and funding over the years in Syria. Brilliant. From the WSJ:

Syrian warplanes carried out airstrikes in western Iraq, stepping up the military role of the U.S. adversary in helping Baghdad's Shiite-dominated government fight Sunni insurgents.


The strikes on Tuesday came as the Pentagon announced that the first 130 members of a potential 300 U.S. military advisers were in place in Baghdad to start assessing and improving the Iraqi army's ability to counter the gains of rebels led by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.


At least 50 people were killed and more than 132 others wounded Tuesday when missiles fired from what appeared to be Syrian government planes hit a municipal building, a market and a bank in the district of Al Rutba, according to an Anbar provincial official and Mohammed Al Qubaisi, a doctor in the district's main hospital.


Those people said Tuesday was the second consecutive day of airstrikes by Syria, which has joined Iran in aiding the embattled Baghdad government against the ISIS-led rebels. Tehran has deployed special forces to help protect the capital and the Iraqi cities of Najaf and Karbala, which Shiites revere.


U.S. State Department and military officials weren't able to confirm the reports of the Syrian attack either. Marie Harf, a State Department spokeswoman, said the U.S. was trying to do so. "It wouldn't be surprising," she said. "The Syrian regime has bombed marketplaces and civilians many, many times." [ZH: as has the US regime, although mostly via drones]


U.S. officials have previously confirmed strikes by Syrian fighter planes and helicopters on Iraqi border crossings controlled by ISIS on multiple occasions in recent weeks. Tuesday's strikes, if confirmed, would be the first to incur a large number of civilian casualties.

Syria denied the report. In other news, Jordan helicopters are now patrolling the Iraq border too as every country in the region is terrified it could be next to fall to ISIS.

* * *

  • Militants attack Iraq air base, seize control of small fields

The finaly update from Reuters, shows that any hopes to contain ISIS for now are in vein. Militants attacked one of Iraq's largest air bases and seized control of several small oilfields on Wednesday as U.S. military experts arrived to set up an operations centre to help Iraqi security forces counter a mounting Sunni insurgency.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who is fighting for his job and is under international pressure to create a more inclusive government, said he supported starting the process of forming a new government within a week.

In northern Iraq the Sunni militants extended a two-week advance that has been led by the hardline Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) but also includes an amalgam of other Sunni groups angered by Maliki's rule.

They blame him for marginalising their sect during eight years in power. The fighting threatens to rupture the country two and a half years after the end of U.S. occupation.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pressed Iraqi officials to form an "inclusive" government during a visit this week and urged leaders of the autonomous Kurdish region to stand with Baghdad against the onslaught. [ID:nL6N0P51PO]

A parliament session is planned within a week that will start the process of forming a new government based on the results of elections held in April.

"We will attend the first session of parliament," Maliki said on state television, adding the commitment stemmed from "loyalty to our people" and respect for a call by Iraq's foremost Shi'ite clergy.

* * *

In conclusion, here is the latest event map from the Institute for the Study of War:

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AAA's picture

Were they ever separate

Headbanger's picture

Bullish for CAT to start digging the Saudi to Turkey pipeline along the now open western border of Iraq.

Joe Davola's picture

Wonder what the going rate is for an Al Qaeda franchise?

Winston Churchill's picture

Brings a whole new meaning to death by friendly fire.

Pinto Currency's picture


US Military branches:

Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines - and Al Qaeda.

Debt-Penitent's picture

Many more "costs" than the "Alan's Snackbar" francise.

DeficitAlchemist's picture

Ask the CIA they are the key originators.. They awill also provide a very Western and Media friendly rebranding --


See ISIS :

 'Islamic'  = Bad guys,

'State' = We have global empire building Intent as bad guys mwahahahaha mwahhahah (persian cat stroking on lap may help)

of 'Syria & Iraq' = Our real enemy US wants to Bomb 'Syria' but were blocked by Putin, How we will get there via mission creep from a familiar enemy we have trampled all over and largely bombed into the medieval ages 'Iraq' and have a well worn mandate for all forms of general destruction.

You can also buy some Heroin from the Wahlmart for all Drug companies.

DeficitAlchemist's picture

Ask the CIA they are the key originators.. They awill also provide a very Western and Media friendly rebranding --


See ISIS :

 'Islamic'  = Bad guys,

'State' = We have global empire building Intent as bad guys mwahahahaha mwahhahah (persian cat stroking on lap may help)

of 'Syria & Iraq' = Our real enemy US wants to Bomb 'Syria' but were blocked by Putin, How we will get there via mission creep from a familiar enemy we have trampled all over and largely bombed into the medieval ages 'Iraq' and have a well worn mandate for all forms of general destruction.

You can also buy some Heroin from the Wahlmart for all Drug companies.

Citxmech's picture

US Spooks sure are good at growing things in the desert, huh?  Of course the only problem is we apparently have little contol into what they end up growing into.  Not that we seem to care mind you.  As long as we have an enemy of our enemy, they must be our friends, even if they are still our enemy on another front.  

I don't think it's ever been more obvious that we're playing both sides.  To what end, I'm not even sure if "we" know anymore.  Access to resources and the continuation of the Petrodollar must be mission priorities - but these goals don't seem to be being served very well right now.  Makes me wonder if pure conflict and mayhem is their means to an end.  Discusting.

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

Middle east conflict raises oil prices.  Notice how Saudi Arabia never gets shit stirred in their own backyard.  

Citxmech's picture

Saudi/US ties go back to Roosevelt.  There is a lot of history there that we are not privy to (although it seems like there might be a bit of trouble in paradise these days)

We closed a long-term 60 BILLION dollar arms deal with SA ( a while back.  (Odd, that Israel didn't object, hm?)

The House of Saud seems to think that they need some pretty serious firepower at their disposal - of course I wonder how much of that shit will actually end up leaving Saudi soil.  Either way, I'm not so sure that SA will be able to stay untouched for long. . . 

Cathartes Aura's picture


Access to resources and the continuation of the Petrodollar must be mission priorities - but these goals don't seem to be being served very well right now.

the whole gig is part of the plan -

MIC manufactures the weaponry = profit

uni-form'd men volunteer to fight each other with shiny new weaponry = death/chaos/destruction

death/chaos/destruction = fewer humans, more ill health, less "resistance" to the overall rape 'n' pillage of global resources in artificially named "Homelands"


overall it is an ongoing Agenda, extracting resources globally while profiting from death/destruction, manipulating "sides" to kill

in perpetual wars for perpetual profits.

Ghordius's picture

yes, yet I don't agree on the "fewer humans" part. yes, we humans engage in wars. but mostly, it's men that are killed. you know, the expendable sex

there is no evidence that population in general decreases because of wars. quite the contrary, females facing a dearth of suitable mates... become less choosy, and more fertile, more willing to have children immediately. Russia after the WWII is a very good example for that. Germany too

imho there is evidence though that "somehow having fewer humans" is a specific, isolated cultural obsession. sponsored by the old Rockefeller, if I'm not mistaken. and more common in... sparsely populated places (strange, eh?)

and very useful to get young men in uniform, which leads back to the MIC

Cathartes Aura's picture

while it's "mostly men" killed in uniform, I'd argue that plenty of "women" and children end up murdered by military ordinance/fallout.

as to the breeding/population explosions that often happen after "wars" - depleted uranium and other man-made terrors will ensure fewer folks able to birth anything but massively deformed/early death babies.

this go-round is for keeps, there WILL be fewer people going forward once the fleecing is completed.

"growth" game over, humanity lost.

PartysOver's picture

Dang, the Ivey League Intellectuals currently in power really excell at screwing things up.   I never understood the allure of Havard, Yale, Columbia........  Those Alums are just plain delusionally stupid.

cossack55's picture

Gateways to the "Power Elite" don'tjaknow.

Matt's picture

It's all about networking. Getting a "C" average from an Ivy League school is what it is all about, you got to party it up, make those connections. It is not about what you know, or who you know, but about who knows you.

Da Yooper's picture

Ya but they are owned by the bankers who love to play both sides of the game


What could go wrong

NoDebt's picture

I wonder if Nursa Front was one of the "moderate" islamic groups we were trying to arm in Syria against Assad.

thamnosma's picture

Supposedly no, since they are "al Qaeda".  However who the fuck actually were the groups "we" were supporting?  Did they even exist?  They paraded some Syrian opposition members around at meetings but those guys were clearly frontmen stooges dredged up by the West.   I love how "exiles" of these various countries, living fat in the West, are chosen to be the new leaders, especially when their last residences were in Northern Virginia.   The American population is so incredibly ignorant.

Matt's picture

I suspect moderate people protest, maybe riot. I do not think moderate people fight civil wars against their government for several years. At some point, any moderates will be displaced or absorbed by the radicals.

BorisTheBlade's picture

Even if not, where is the guarantee that moderate groups don't lose their weapons to complete lunatics during armed conflict? Fog of war. It could be the case that initially weapons were tarnsferred to what could be considered moderate and legitimate opposition and then lost to Al Qaeda. End result is the same, the explanation only defines whether it was done thanks to evil intent or sheer stupidity. I vote stupidity, it seems to explain a lot these days.

SyriaL Stowlker's picture

No need to wonder , I have a friend , ahmm , wink-wink , who says can prove Al-Nura was being supported by Western Intel especially when they invaded Aleppo in July 2012 .

TideFighter's picture

Filing annual reports, completing mergers, acquring key manangement, and all with a cash hoard too? Don't worry, the Community Organizer has sent the mighty 300 (poor fellas) to the rescue. 


southern_oilman's picture

yes they were, very much so. a glimpse of the ISIS road to fame can be found via the following link (translation from arabic):

FMR Bankster's picture

Yes. That's the thing about these religious nuts. Under normal circumstances they spend their time trying to kill each other over minor religious differences. Bin Laden was able to do the improbable, bring these groups together. In the early 1980's the blind Sheik (head of The Islamic group)and Ayman al-Zawhiri (Head of Islamic Jihad) were jailed together, and grew to hate each others guts. Best way to break them up is to get them together.

Cathartes Aura's picture

they're ALL "religious nuts" in that they ALL believe in their inherent righteous-ness, and their gods-given rights to kill other humans on behalf of their superstitions.

and those "religious nuts" have been at it for centuries - raping the globe for their righteous banking class

over - LORDS.

give men a religion and some weapons, and turn 'em loose.

same as it ever was.

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

Re: were they ever separate?


I hate to keep saying it, but more slow and or wrong and or confusing reporting on this from Zerohedge, which is beneath them. Go ahead and shoot the messenger, but in the end you just get less mail.


First off ISIS largely WAS in Syria, ergo, ISIS never had to merge with anyone in Syria as their presence straddled the border which they don't largely recognize.


Secondly, ISIS only split with Jabhat al Nusra recently and there has been a spate of ceasefires and then open warfare between all sorts of factions - so the idea of anyone formally splitting or merging is asstarded.


Thirdly, I'm not sure if Zerohedge has mentioned, once, the most important group ISIS has allied with the Naqshbandi who are led by Al-Duri, Saddam Hussein's former strong man.


Fourth, nice work on picking up the fact that the SAF bombed Iraq which was known and reported last week, including mentions in the comments section here.


SO whatever the opposite of keep up the good work is, do that.

buzzsaw99's picture

iraq would be better off joining iran, syria, and russia

thamnosma's picture

There is no more Iraq.  I imagine the new Shiite state in the south will indeed join Iran and Syrian.  

Matt's picture

Kurdistan will have to be allied with NATO, since their oil goes through Turkey and Israel. Sunnistan will probably be informally allied with the West via Saudi Arabia. 

Cathartes Aura's picture

Israel is already getting one-third of their water from Syria, and oil from the Kurds.

A tanker delivered a cargo of disputed crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan's new pipeline for the first time on Friday in Israel, despite threats by Baghdad to take legal action against any buyer.

everything is going to plan.

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

says who, john bolton?


The inconvenient thoughts of the thousands of sunni iraqis clamoring to join the fight against isis contravenes your fairy tale. If it wasn't for western meddling this would be a non issue. The West has been trying to ENGINEER a smashed state for years, and to blithely play armchair political analyst is both hilarious and embarrassing.

Matt's picture

America has no gold, so it would have to be a non-redeemable standard based on ficticious holdings. 

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

Completely accurate.  Another point that gets missed is that, while gold convertability is suspended, the amount of gold held by various nationalities/entities affect the value of the currency from an intergovernmental settlement standpoint.  We all know the 8K tonnes of gold in Ft. Knox is fictitious, but that number is still used to "support" the value of the USD (in conjunction with the GDP and military).  I don't think other countries like Russia or China are going to do gold convertability for their respective currencies, but I do think they will eventually update their official holdings and signal that their currency backing is near/at/above where the USD is as far as the gold valuation chunk.  

robertocarlos's picture

Their employees take way too many long vacations.

a growing concern's picture

What a clusterfukishima...

Gumbum's picture

US operatives are obviously only there to protect US assets. Not in a million years are they going to combat Saudi ISIL.

BurningFuld's picture

I thought they were there just to further inflame the situation. Silly me.

thamnosma's picture

I'm guessing there are mass evacuations, other than military contractors, out of the US Embassy compound and we are simply not being told about it.  Expect massive evasion, denial and lies from Obama regarding the entire situation until it falls apart completely.

Gunga's picture

The rebels the US Federal government funded and supplied in Syria joined with the rebels that suddenly appeared in the desert along the Syrian border with Iraq. Amazing.

Platinum's picture

"However, the groups will retain separate stocks and associated tickers on the spirtual stock market. ISIS and ISF were up 3 and 2 virgins respectively on the news."

IReallyDontCare's picture

So the real play is coming into focus,Syria...

supermaxedout's picture

The cat is out of the sack! US/UK is fighting now Iraq and Syria at the same time.   This is going to become a "30 years war" if not the US Dollar is going bust earlier.

buzzsaw99's picture

our troops are eager and morale is high [/sarc]

thamnosma's picture

That may be the real reason for no "boots on the ground".   In fact, such orders might result in lots of desertions, refusals, who knows.   The installation of Obama ushered in the new strategy of using a combo of air strikes and mercenaries to do the 3rd world destabilization campaign.   This was brilliant actually in that the brain-dead left was easily bought off with Obama, that "invasions" no longer appeared as they did under Bush regimes, no anti-war movement, the media brainwashed and bought off....

As long as American infantry are not sent, we are not "at war".

Tucson Tom's picture

I can almost hear the rotors of the evac helicopters warming up on the top of the US Embassy.Lets see,get all the cash out of the safe and load pallets on C-17,check! Destroy hard drives,check! Set timers on fuses,check! For rent sign in window,check!

Space Animatoltipap's picture

It's only a designed mess. Indeed, by the US/GB fiat money elite, the envious and cynical zionists. They even hate themselves.