Al Qaeda (New York Times spelling) never met a conflagration it could resist stoking. On Friday, February 10 Jonathan Landy of McClatchy reported:
The Iraqi branch of al Qaida, seeking to exploit the bloody turmoil in Syria to reassert its potency, carried out two recent bombings in the Syrian capital, Damascus, and likely was behind suicide bombings Friday that killed at least 28 people in the largest city, Aleppo, U.S. officials told McClatchy.
On Sunday, February 10 Agence France Press seemed to confirm that (thanks to Focal Pointer Paul Mutter for bringing this to my attention):
Jihadist forums say that Muslim volunteers are travelling to Syria from a string of Arab countries to fight against President Bashar al-Assad’s secular regime. … One jihadist site, Ansar al-Mujahedeen, has a page called: “Lions of Al-Sham — the news of jihad in glorious Syria,” … One of the members of the forum, using the name Nasr al-Din al-Hosni, on Thursday announced “the death of Emir Abu Osama al-Muhajar on the Iraqi-Syrian border, after he managed to smuggle ammunition” from Iraq to Syria.”
Among the “string of Arab countries” is Jordan (thanks to Mutter and Agence France Press again).
Jordan’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood on Sunday called for “jihad” against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and support for the rebel army, saying it is “an Islamic duty.”
“This duty requires all Muslims to support the [rebel] Free Syrian Army against the aggression of the regime’s criminal and brutal forces,” Brotherhood leader Hammam Said was quoted as saying in a statement on the group’s website.
Meanwhile Landay had written:
A third U.S. official said that AQI has been able to operate in Syria because it still maintains in that country networks that it used to infiltrate foreign extremists into western Iraq to fight U.S. forces.
It’s ironic enough that the flow of combatants has reversed course. Doubly so that the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped facilitate Al Qaeda meddling in Syria.