Ba’ath Denies Alliance with Islamic State

By Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Khodair al-Morshedi, the official spokesman for the Iraqi Baath Party and the secretary-general of the Islamic National Front of Iraq, comprising various armed factions, described the Islamic State (IS), formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, as “an extreme, terrorist movement.”

Morshedi, who said his factions entered Ninevah after it was occupied by the armed organizations on June 10, denies having formed any alliance with IS.

However, one member of the Baath Party told Al-Monitor that the Baath Party has coordinated with 14 armed factions to enter Ninevah and control it.

News emerged about battles erupting between the armed factions, some of which belong to the Baath Party, such as the Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order, on the one hand, and Islamic State on the other.

However, Morshedi, who was disowned by his tribe because of his membership in the Baath Party, told Al-Monitor, “The situation does not require clashing or fighting with any party, as long as the tribal rebels have one goal.” According to Morshedi, the said goal is to “eradicate the sectarian and corrupt political process in Iraq.”

Ahmed al-Ani, a militant for the Tribal Revolutionaries’ Council in the area of al-Qaim, adjacent to the Syrian border, said that the fighters controlling some parts of Anbar belong to IS.

In a phone interview with Al-Monitor, Ani said, “The militants are Sunnis who were abused and tortured and whose rights were taken away by the government of (Prime Minister Nouri) al-Maliki.”

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