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Iraq cannot shake threat from al-Qaeda, ISIS

Although the Iraqi government claims its campaign in Anbar is aimed at eradicating terrorism, the threat to the country is actually spreading because of the expansion of foreign jihadist networks based in Syria.
Personnel from the Iraqi security forces arrest suspected militants of the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), during clashes with Iraqi security forces in Jurf al-Sakhar, 60 km (40 miles) from the capital February 15, 2014. South of Baghdad, ISIL militants killed at least eight soldiers in overnight clashes in Jurf al-Sakhar, 60 km (40 miles) from the capital, army and police sources said.  REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST CRIME LAW MILITARY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) will most likely not be defeated in Iraq, and the latter will remain a hub accommodating terrorism. The current equation in the country is simple and easy to understand. The situation in Iraq is linked to a terrorist network that has invaded the world and is no longer restricted to the presence of al-Qaeda and ISIS in Iraq, but includes all the countries in the region and the world. The proof is that there are currently about 7,500 foreign militants from 50 countries in Syria, according to estimates by US intelligence.

During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Feb. 11, US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that he did not think al-Qaeda would be defeated soon. “[Al-Qaeda] is morphing and franchising itself, not only [in North Africa] but in other areas of the world,” Clapper said.

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