Jihadists Seek a New Base in Syria and Iraq

May 28, 2013 | 12:57 GMT

 Jihadists Seek a New Base in Syria and Iraq
Militants at a training camp near Aleppo, Syria.



Al Qaeda in Iraq is trying to use the Syrian conflict to reignite sectarian warfare in Iraq and thereby create an uninterrupted operating space stretching from Iraq to Lebanon. Since mid-May alone, more than 300 people have been killed and hundreds more wounded in bombings by suspected jihadists across Iraq that have largely targeted the country's Shiite population. The jihadists sense a historic opportunity to acquire their largest and most significant area of operation since the movement was based in Afghanistan before the 2001 U.S. invasion. However, they still face several constraints that will enable the Iraqi government and its Iranian backers to contain the spillover into Iraq, at least for the near term.

Transnational jihadists see the Syrian conflict as a historic opportunity to expand their area of operation....

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