For Power and Money: Kirkuk Extremist Groups’ Play Dirty Tricks on One Another
Kirkuk security forces have recorded 21 incidents of extremist violence and around 30 deaths in the past five months. But this time it is not the general public at risk. Two Sunni extremist groups, Ansar al-Sunna and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, are fighting one another for power and money.
Antipathy between two Sunni Muslim extremist groups operating in the Kirkuk area has escalated to the point where it can no longer be hidden. In the recent past, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Syria), often referred to as ISIS or Daash, and the organization Ansar al-Sunna have been allies.
Both are Sunni Muslim extremist organisations, both use terrorist tactics and are funded by Al Qaeda and both have a lot of influence in communities south of Kirkuk. But recently the two groups appear to have been targeting one another and the pretence of an alliance has been dropped.
Both organizations have been around for a while. But when ISIS united with its partners in Syria and added “Levant” to its name, it was seen as an attempt to become the most powerful extremist organization in the Sunni Muslim areas of Iraq.