A week ago, Obama declared that Al Qaeda was on a path to defeat. Not only is that not true of Al Qaeda as a whole; it’s not even true of Al Qaeda in Iraq.
During his multiple withdrawals from Iraq, Obama claimed that the mission had been successfully concluded and that the war there never had anything to do with Al Qaeda. Unfortunately Al Qaeda in Iraq begged to differ.
This May, over a thousand Iraqis have been killed, nearly equaling the death toll from the worst days of the Iraq War. Car bombings in Baghdad no longer make the evening news, but they are commonplace and despite the withdrawal, Americans haven’t been immune from the violence.
Among the Benghazi attackers were about a dozen members of Al Qaeda in Iraq. The four Americans who died in the attack could be considered four additional Al Qaeda in Iraq kills.
But Al Qaeda in Iraq’s real mission lay in Syria. The Al-Nusra Front has dominated the Sunni side of the Syrian Civil War. Robert Ford, the United States ambassador to Syria, has said that the Al-Nusra Front is just Al Qaeda in Iraq operating under another name.
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