Al-Naba reported that Al Qaeda’s men “never miss the chance for treachery,” as they recently “started a war against” the caliphate’s men in the middle of a “raging Crusader campaign.” In other words, the Islamic State accuses Al Qaeda of launching attacks on its fighters as they were battling the “Crusader” France and its allies.
The West African branch of al-Qaeda – the Group for Support of Islam and Muslims (or “JNIM”) has a very significant presence in Mali, and the entire Sahel.
According to the al-Naba report, Al Qaeda’s men “organized their armed movements and fronts in northern Mali” from “all kinds” of groups, including both those who are opposed to the “apostate government” and those who are “loyal to it.” Al Qaeda has even worked with the “idolatrous” “tribal movements,” according to Al-Naba.
ISIS declared that JNIM “accepted an invitation by the apostate Malian government to negotiate and to set themselves up as guards of the borders of Algeria and Mauritania.”
ISIS, also accused France of failing to actually adequate combat al-Qaeda militants. It said that the “Crusader campaign in the region” of failing to “target [JNIM’s] soldiers or the areas in which they are stationed.”
In the same way, ISIS criticized the Taliban for signing a deal with the US, for its withdrawal, in return from disallowing groups to carry out attacks from Afghan soil on other countries.
From April, French troops have carried out several operations targeting ISIS in the Sahel, but according to al-Naba, it avoided carrying out operations against JNIM.
The Islamic State claims to have conducted several attacks against al-Qaeda’s men in the Sahel, from northern and central Mali to northern Burkina Faso. In central Mali, the Islamic State reports that its men “repulsed two attacks” by Al Qaeda in the Mopti region.
So, essentially, ISIS is complaining that France and others in the region are fighting against them, while it is trying to fight against other terrorists, which are being disregarded by the other factions.
Local media has reported intense fighting between the jihadist groups in these same areas.
In early April, clashes were reported in the localities of Dialloube, Koubi, Djantakai, and Nigua in the Mopti region.
And in March, fighting between the two was reported near the Mauritanian town of Fassala, which sits on the border with Mali.
On April 18, one of the largest battles between the two was reported in the Ndaki area of Mali’s Gossi commune. According to local media, a large contingent of JNIM fighters targeted the Islamic State’s men in four different towns in the area.
On April 20th, a firefight was recorded near the locality of Pobe inside Burkina Faso’s Soum province, while another occurred in Keraboule in the Koutougou department of the same province.
Further battles in Arbinda and Nassoumbou have also been alleged.
In conclusion, it would appear that the “war” between al-Qaeda and ISIS is the most significant deterrence from terror attacks, since the French operations and the local forces in the Sahel appear to not be doing enough.
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