August 22, 2014 | Quote

The Re-Baathification of Iraq

More recently, the ideological fissures in the alliance have become pronounced. In late July, JRTN put out a statement condemning sectarianism and the persecution of religious minorities, including Christians and Yazidis, who would ultimately run for their lives from ISIS marauders in Sinjar, prompting President Barack Obama to launch airstrikes to stop a possible genocide. While the JRTN statement didn't signal out its Islamic State allies — they never do — analysts said it showed that the Baathists and former ruling elites are distancing themselves from the terrorist group and are indirectly condemning its tactics. “It's very roundabout, but it's clear what they're talking about,” said Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a senior fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies….
The good news is that whatever deal JRTN thought it could make with its terrorist muscle, it appears to be going south. “It absolutely has not held,” Gartenstein-Ross said of the tenuous alliance. “They had mutual interests. But JRTN has completely underestimated how dangerous ISIS is.”
The group's tactics are so brutal that it was expelled from al Qaeda and split off from opposition fighters in Syria, who wanted to focus their efforts on overthrowing strongman Bashar al-Assad, not creating a new Muslim state. The question now is how JRTN would separate from the Islamic State without igniting an all-out war, which it could it very well lose. “ISIS is stronger than JRTN overall,” Gartenstein-Ross said.


Islamic State