Next in Iraq: Kurdish al-Qaeda?

Iraq’s Kurdish regional government has mobilized 1,000 peshmerga troops to its border with Iran, ostensibly to stop the flow of men and weapons to support the Islamist militant group Ansar al-Islam. Maj. Gen. Jabbar Yawir said an Ansar-allied group calling itself the “Kurdistan Brigades of al-Qaeda” has repeatedly attacked Kurdish forces in the region around the border town of Penjwin.

“The forces sent shall be in two brigades,” the general said. “Some will reinforce army units and border checkpoints and some will mount patrols in the region to ambush the enemy.”

The May 9 truck bomb at the Kurdish interior ministry in Irbil, which killed at least 14 and injured another 87, was claimed by the “Islamic State of Iraq,” which includes the “al-Qaeda in Iraq” organization as well as six other smaller affiliated groups. (Asia News, May 11)

It was only a matter of time before Ansar al-Islam affiliated with al-Qaeda, but we are very skeptical that they are being aided by Shi’ite-fundamentalist Iran. On the contrary, it is more likely that al-Qaeda-type Sunni militants operating in Iran are being covertly aided by the US to destabilize the Tehran regime—as is apparently the case in the Baluchistan region.

See our last posts on Iraq, Iran, Kurdistan, Ansar al-Islam and al-Qaeda.