U.S. sees no tie up between Al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria
James Clapper acknowledged there had been ‘tactical accommodations’ on the battlefield between local militant groups in Syria
James Clapper, the director of U.S. National Intelligence, Clapper said Friday analysts had not seen any evidence indicating militants belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda had forged an alliance in Syria.
Clapper told CBS television U.S. experts were unaware of any pact between the two groups, which would potentially complicate the U.S.-led military campaign in Syria, reported AFP.
"We don't see that," Clapper said.
"There have been tactical accommodations, on the battlefield, on occasion, where local groups have united in the interest of the tactical objective, but broadly, I don’t see those two uniting, at least yet."
The Daily Beast reported earlier this week that veterans of the Al-Qaeda splinter group known as Khorasan – which has been bombed repeatedly by U.S. warplanes – were trying to broker a deal between ISIS fighters and members of the Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate.
"Khorasan sees its role now as securing an end to the internal conflict between Islamic State [ISIS] and Al-Nusra," a senior rebel source was quoted as saying.
U.S. officials expressed skepticism about the reported alliance however.
"I find it hard to believe that Al-Nusra and Islamic State could sink their differences," an unidentified former Obama administration official was quoted as telling the Daily Beast.
"The rift between them is very deep."