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Syrian jihadists are reportedly spreading their brutal influence in Iraq with random violence in towns and villages near the border with Syria with the aim of setting up an Islamic state in the region.
The almost daily bombings and killings are echoing back the memories of those times when the Anbar province in Iraq was almost lost to al-Qaeda, although the tribal leaders of Anbar had helped the US military partly restore security in Iraq with the anti-al-Qaeda movement in 2007 known as the al-Sahawa.
According to The Guardian, Abu Risha, who became the Iraqi face of al-Sahawa, said that he fears that if a democratic state is not eventually established in Syria, there will be a problem for the entire region, adding that the jihadists want strict Islamic law and to set up Syria as a stage for a jihad elsewhere.
The report mentioned that the al-Qaeda aligned groups, which started collecting in Syria from July 2012, have been forming groups in large parts of northern and eastern Iraq, with Risha saying that little could be done in Syria without the backing of a powerful nation state.
However, he acknowledged that there is little chance that the US army would make such a commitment to Syria, saying that he fears that US allies in the region have a similar lack of appetite for a direct intervention.
According to Risha, the Gulf countries are the ones who should help destroy the al-Qaeda groups by not supporting them in any way.