Video: Taliban arrive in Syria

posted at 8:01 am on July 17, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

At least that’s what CNN was told by the Taliban in Pakistan. They have already sent 120 fighters to Syria for the rebels on request from al-Qaeda, and another 150 are on their way:

Taliban fighters from Pakistan say they have united with al Qaeda forces in Syria to fight the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The commander of the Pakistan Taliban, Abdul Rashid Abbasi, has told CNN that the first batch of fighters has arrived in Syria and established a command and control center to launch operational activities alongside Syrian rebel fighters. Abbasi, a close associate of Pakistan Taliban head Hakeemullah Mehsud, told CNN that 120 fighters are already in Syria.

The Taliban commander went on to say that another batch of fighters made up of 150 men will arrive in Syria this week.

“We shall be sending more volunteers, but cannot give exact numbers at this moment, but we will provide whatever support is needed by our Syrian brothers,” Abbasi told CNN.

Great! The rebellion that the US wants to support not only has al-Qaeda affiliates running the show, it also has incentivized the Taliban to expand outside the Af-Pak theater for the first time.  This is the same group that we’re trying to woo into peace talks before we bug out of Afghanistan entirely, in part to convince them to give up their partnership with AQ.  That seems to be going …. about as well as expected.

Speaking of AQ, Syria isn’t the only theater where they need help.  Their most successful franchise, the Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), had their second-in-command die from an American drone strike, although it’s unclear exactly when that happened. By the way, he’s also a Gitmo alumnus:

The Yemen-based branch of al-Qaida announced Wednesday that the group’s No. 2 figure, a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner, has died in a U.S. drone strike.

The announcement, posted on militant websites, gave no date for the death of Saudi-born Saeed al-Shihri.

Yemeni security officials, however, said al-Shihri died of serious injuries sustained when a drone strike targeted him in November last year.

Al-Shihri had survived an earlier drone attack, in September 2012, the officials added, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media.

Wednesday’s announcement came in a video purporting to show the group’s chief theologian, Ibrahim Al-Robaish, in which he eulogized al-Shihri.

In the video, al-Robaish said al-Shihri was hit by the drone while speaking on his mobile telephone in the province of Saadah, north of the Yemeni capital of Sanaa.

AQAP lost its top leader, American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, in a September 2011 drone strike that remains controversial today.  One would think that AQAP would have figured out the whole mobile-phone-as-targeting-device concept by now, but communications options in that area would be limited.

Will the alliance between al-Qaeda and the Taliban force the US to reconsider its policy in Syria? Afghanistan? In general?  Clearly, the relationship is growing stronger — and the Taliban feel as though they can spare these fighters from their own efforts to overthrow the Hamid Karzai government.  Neither of those are healthy developments for the US in the long war on terrorism, and that should have policymakers putting a screeching halt to arms shipments to Syrian rebels.  Unfortunately, it probably won’t.


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Will the alliance between al-Qaeda and the Taliban force the US to reconsider its policy in Syria? Afghanistan? In general?

What policy?

Electrongod on July 17, 2013 at 8:03 AM

In the video, al-Robaish said al-Shihri was hit by the drone while speaking on his mobile telephone in the province of Saadah, north of the Yemeni capital of Sanaa.

“You can’t hear me now.”

Bitter Clinger on July 17, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Taliban arrive in Syria

Syria: Lock up your little boys. Trust me on this one.

Kafir on July 17, 2013 at 8:11 AM

That any of our so-called “leaders” ever got in bed with these “rebels” in Syria is where everything regarding US involvement in Syria went to bizarro world.

Bitter Clinger on July 17, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Taliban arrive in Syria

Marco Rubio is considering granting them Amnesty.

MaiDee on July 17, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Video: Taliban arrive in Syria

…fooled me!…I thought that was Oakland, California!

KOOLAID2 on July 17, 2013 at 8:12 AM

McCain better get over there for another photo op…my friends.

trs on July 17, 2013 at 8:13 AM

Epic fail

cmsinaz on July 17, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Their most successful franchise, the Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), had their second-in-command die from an American drone strike, although it’s unclear exactly when that happened. By the way, he’s also a Gitmo alumnus:

I wonder if he was one of the terrorists represented by Eric Holder.

Happy Nomad on July 17, 2013 at 8:14 AM

“The Taliban-We Want You” recruiting poster now available at Amazon.

hillsoftx on July 17, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Let Evil fights Evil… One on side we have the terrorist camp of Assad/Iran/Hizballah and on the other side we have the terrorist camp of Al Qaeda and their allies… Let them kill each others to no end… There is no lesser of evil in Syria war they are all equally evil… Those who are advocating for Assad/Iran/Hizballah win in Syria are stupid beyond belief and sadly there are many of them on this blog… The best outcome of the Syrian war is a long conflict where the terrorists on all sides annihilate each others..

mnjg on July 17, 2013 at 8:27 AM

What policy?

Electrongod on July 17, 2013 at 8:03 AM

Yeah the Zero seems to be winging it, hoping no one will notice.

What’s the difference between the Taliban and AQ at this point?

dogsoldier on July 17, 2013 at 8:28 AM

Isn’t the Muslim Brotherhood just the Taliban in business suits?

albill on July 17, 2013 at 8:33 AM

TFG ought announce he’s ordered a GPS chip embedded in each of the Gitmo types before setting them free. They’ll spend the first year of freedom being carved up by their evil buddies looking for the damn thing.

MTF on July 17, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Yeah the Zero seems to be winging it, hoping no one will notice.

dogsoldier on July 17, 2013 at 8:28 AM

Isn’t that what you do when you realize you don’t know what you’re doing?

Kafir on July 17, 2013 at 8:43 AM

So. In aiding these rebels, the US will be arming both AQ AND the Taliban ?
Not quite sure how this is “good” for America.

Jabberwock on July 17, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Isn’t the Muslim Brotherhood just the Taliban in business suits?

albill on July 17, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Pretty astute observation, friend. Wish our so-called leadership was as perceptive.

coldwarrior on July 17, 2013 at 8:53 AM

Unexpectedly… /

(Been using that word (and the sarc tag) a lot in the last 5 years.)

CPT. Charles on July 17, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Isn’t that what you do when you realize you don’t know what you’re doing?

Kafir on July 17, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Some might find a person with a clue and get advice or something. What we have is a group of people who have no experience at anything at all other than public speaking and some of them still do it poorly without a crutch.

dogsoldier on July 17, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Their most successful franchise, the Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), had their second-in-command die from an American drone strike, although it’s unclear exactly when that happened.

Allow me to play the role of Ace here:

Club Gitmo graduate Saeed al-Shihri dies of underemployment and 20 pounds of explosives, but mostly 20 pounds of explosives

Steve Eggleston on July 17, 2013 at 9:22 AM

had their second-in-command die from an American drone strike, although it’s unclear exactly when that happened.

I’m no ordnance expert, though I’ve been around ‘em and even spent time at Indian Head and a few other spots learning about them…but…just to offer an opinion, I’m guessing “it” happened within milliseconds of the warhead of the missile fired by the drone detonating in very very close proximity of Saeed al-Shihri, who, at the time, may have been wondering aloud just what the hell that thing was, that just just came crashing into his house all of a sudden. My personal take is that he probably never got past “Wha….?”

Isn’t the Muslim Brotherhood just the Taliban in business suits?

albill on July 17, 2013 at 8:33 AM

coldwarrior on July 17, 2013 at 9:33 AM

OK…how’d that happen?

Those NSA guys still running Prism are getting a bit sloppy…

coldwarrior on July 17, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Keep feeding both sides ammo!

Deano1952 on July 17, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Time to parachute McCain, Graham and Rubio into Syria to lead the FSA to glorious victory!

el Vaquero on July 17, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Video: Taliban arrive in Syria

I thought Obummer destroyed the Taliban?

Surely these are imposters.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 17, 2013 at 10:45 AM

#2 AlQuaida was just droned.

Meet your virgins, fool.

Schadenfreude on July 17, 2013 at 11:08 AM

… That photo was taken in SYRIA?! For a minute I thought it was the idiots in LA rioting because they didn’t like the appropriate verdict the Zimmerman trial Judy handed down….

easyt65 on July 17, 2013 at 11:58 AM

TFG ought announce he’s ordered a GPS chip embedded in each of the Gitmo types before setting them free. They’ll spend the first year of freedom being carved up by their evil buddies looking for the damn thing.

MTF on July 17, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Now there’s an idea.

If I were an AQ or TB leader, I might start falsely announcing that some leader or other had been killed so that he would be removed from the targeting list.

AesopFan on July 17, 2013 at 5:32 PM