RIYADH/DUBAI (Reuters) – It is more than 23 years since Arab countries last made common cause to join U.S.-led military action, and it has taken the threat of Islamic State to persuade them that any public backlash in an already turbulent region is a price worth paying.
Of the five Arab states named by Washington as supporting U.S.-led strikes against the jihadist group in Syria, Bahrain, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) confirmed they had actually flown sorties. Saudi Arabia said it had “participated in military operations”, and Qatar was believed to have offered only logistical or political support. But association with the attacks, after years of U.S.-led wars that have antagonized Muslims around the world, is a risk these states are ready to run to quash a group that promises to refashion the Middle East as an Islamic caliphate.
Saudi Arabia, which has barred pilgrims from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea from the haj due to Ebola concerns, will allow Nigerians to attend, an official was reported on Monday as saying, suggesting the smaller outbreak there was less worrying.
DUBAI, Sept 3 (Reuters) – Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahri
on Wednesday announced the formation of an Indian branch of his
militant group he said would spread Islamic rule and “raise the
flag of jihad” across the subcontinent.
In a 55-minute video posted online, Zawahri also renewed a
longstanding vow of loyalty to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah
Omar, in an apparent snub to the Islamic State armed group
challenging al Qaeda for leadership of transnational Islamist
DUBAI (Reuters) – The Islamic State released a video purporting to show the beheading of American hostage Steven Sotloff, a monitoring service said on Tuesday, raised the stakes in its confrontation with Washington over U.S. air strikes on its fighters in Iraq.
A masked figure in the video also issued a threat against a British hostage, a man the group named as David Haines, and warned governments to back off “this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State”, the SITE monitoring service said.
RIYADH/DUBAI (Reuters) – With militant Islamists gaining the upper hand in Syria’s rebel movement and grabbing big tracts of Western Iraq, Saudi Arabia’s ruling family faces an increasingly uncomfortable dilemma.
The Al Saud have long seen the conflicts in Iraq and Syria as a pivotal battle for the future of the Middle East, pitting Sunni Muslims against a radical, revolutionary, Shi’ite Iran.
DUBAI (Reuters) – Air strikes against Libyan Islamist militants that U.S. officials had said were staged by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates could mark an escalation of a regional struggle over the future of the Arab world.
Arab responsibility for the attacks would add to a picture of the West’s regional allies acting increasingly independently in the absence of decisive U.S. involvement, seeking security goals with which Washington might not agree.
DUBAI (Reuters) – Air strikes by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates on Libyan Islamists – as alleged by Washington despite denials from Cairo and the Gulf state – would mark an escalation of a regional struggle over the future of the Arab world.
If true, Arab responsibility for the attacks would also add to a picture of the West’s regional allies acting increasingly independently in the absence of decisive U.S. involvement, seeking security goals with which Washington may not agree.
DUBAI (Reuters) – In hiding, targeted by drone strikes and unable to land a blow in the West, al Qaeda’s ageing leaders are losing a power struggle with ultra-radical young militants in Iraq and Syria who see themselves as the true successors to Osama bin Laden.
The shadowy network that targeted the West and its Arab allies for almost a generation is increasingly seen as stale, tired and ineffectual on the hardcore jihadi social media forums and Twitter accounts that incubate potential militant recruits.
BAGHDAD/DUBAI (Reuters) – The militants dismantling Iraq’s borders and threatening regional war are far from united – theirs is a marriage of convenience between ultra-hardline religious zealots and more pragmatic Sunni armed groups.
For now, they share a common enemy in Shi’ite Islamist Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, whom Iraq’s Sunni minority accuse of marginalising and harassing them.
BAGHDAD/DUBAI (Reuters) – The militants dismantling Iraq’s borders and threatening regional war are far from united — theirs is a marriage of convenience between ultra-hardline religious zealots and more pragmatic Sunni armed groups.
For now, they share a common enemy in Shi’ite Islamist Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, whom Iraq’s Sunni minority accuse of marginalizing and harassing them.