The Long War Journal reports that the Syrian government is actively working with a top Al-Qaeda leader to destabilize Iraq. Sheikh Issa al-Masri left Pakistan, traveled to Iran, and from there to Syria in June, the report says, which cites the Corriere della Serra of Italy:
Sheikh Issa is believed to be based in Damascus and is protected by the Mukhabarat, Syria’s secret intelligence service. From Damascus, Sheikh Issa has been instrumental in reorganizing al Qaeda in Iraq’s network and is thought to be behind some of the most deadly attacks in Iraq, including Wednesday’s coordinated bombings in Baghdad that killed more than 90 Iraqis and wounded more than 1,200.
Sheikh Issa has been aided by Abu Khalaf, a senior al Qaeda operative who has been instrumental in reviving al Qaeda in Iraq’s network in eastern Syria and directing terror operations in Iraq, a US intelligence official told The Long War Journal.