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'Iraq needs to name the states supporting Al-Qaeda before the UN'

Published time: June 11, 2014 13:07
A burnt vehicle is seen during clashes between Iraqi security forces and al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the northern Iraq city of Mosul, June 10, 2014.(Reuters / Stringer)

Iraq should name and shame the countries supporting Al-Qaeda and lodge complaints at the United Nations against those countries if it wants to fight Al-Qaeda, an expert on Middle East affairs Zaid Alisa told RT.

RT:How serious is the situation in the country?

Zaid Alisa: I think the situation in northern Iraq particularly in Mosul in Nineveh Province is highly dangerous. It is deeply alarming and deeply worrying that Al-Qaeda has actually managed to seize and overrun the security forces and the Iraqi army, and to establish control over the entire city. This is the second largest city, and this basically should send shock waves right across the entire Middle East.

The bulk of the responsibility now falls on the American authorities who have actually not put their money where their mouth is, and they didn’t actually support the Iraqi army with the necessary equipment that the Iraqi army has been pleading and begging for, and has already paid for. The Americans have been dragging their feet about it, they have been having cold feet and it turned out that all the rhetoric about standing shoulder to shoulder with the Iraqi government and helping the Iraqi government to fight and defeat Al-Qaeda has turned out to be nothing but anti-rhetoric.

RT: Do you think Iraq will ever be able to curb the violence within its borders?

ZA: We have to look at the entire area, we have to look at why Al-Qaeda have managed to be revitalized and reactivated and to become so resurgent with having so much power and influence, and the answer comes from all this arming, funding, logistical support and even going as far as paying salaries to the Wahabi Salafist insurgents who converged on Syria, and actually all this funding going to Al-Nusra Front. The New York Times acknowledged that most of this funding and arming actually went to the most extremist group that is the Al-Nusra Front. Also, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Al-Qaeda of Iraq, has acknowledged and said that the Al-Nusra Front is nothing but part and parcel of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and its leader Abu Mohammad al-Jawlani is simply a foot soldier of Iraq. And all those resources, the torrent of funding have been shared and divided up between the two groups. We mustn’t also forget that the strategy of Saudi Arabia at the beginning of 2012 was focusing on unseating and actually toppling Assad.

RT: What should be done to stop the violence and defeat Al-Qaeda?

ZA: What Iraq has to do is to take serious steps to actually deal with Al-Qaeda and the resurgence of Al-Qaeda by actually naming and shaming those countries and lodging complaints in the United Nations against those countries. Nouri Al-Maliki himself on France 24 has acknowledged that the arming and funding the political and media support has been coming from Saudi Arabia, which is hell bent on weakening, destabilizing and derailing the entire political process and democracy in Iraq.

The strategy of Saudi Arabia has shifted from simply toppling the Assad regime in Syria and using the huge influence and leverage of Al-Qaeda, and the leadership of Al-Qaeda in Iraq is basically from Saudi Arabia, they have used that influence to tell them to go and focus on Syria. With the failure to make any headway in terms of toppling Assad, the strategy has shifted back to destabilizing and weakening Iraq, believing that Iraq has been throwing its support and has been used as a lifeline to support the Syrian regime. So in order to topple the Syrian regime they have to weaken and destabilize Iraq. The other issue is that they have utilized is the protests that they have started inside the Anbar in Sunni areas.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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