Tags: Afghanistan | Exclusive Interviews | ISIS/Islamic State | Newsmax Prime | paul vallely | isis | taliban

Paul Vallely: Reports of ISIS-Taliban Rift Are Unconvincing

By    |   Friday, 05 Jun 2015 09:27 PM

Despite news reports that Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists beheaded 10 Taliban fighters on Wednesday, retired U.S. Army Gen. Paul E. Vallely told Newsmax TV Friday that he doesn't buy the idea that the jihadist groups are at odds with each other.

"They'll merge over there," Vallely, chairman of Stand Up America, told "Newsmax Prime" host J.D. Hayworth. "The Taliban realizes that the ISIS forces have the money and the assets to prosecute forward the caliphate — and so they'll team up just like ISIS has done in Africa and throughout the Middle East.

"The scenario will be they're teaming up, and it may be just propaganda that there's a conflict there."

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But Michael Pregent, a Mideast expert who had advised the Iraqi Security Forces, countered that "there's a primacy issue with the Taliban.

"They don't want to pledge allegiance or buy out to ISIS," he said. "They're happy to work together against a common enemy, but they're not happy to be subjugated to ISIS.

"You're seeing some of that pushback in Farah Province, as well as in Jalalabad as ISIS tries to establish a foothold."

According to news reports, ISIS fighters in Afghanistan beheaded the 10 Taliban terrorists they had caught in an ambush in Nangarhar Province in eastern Afghanistan. The killings were later confirmed by the Afghan National Army, Khaama Press reports.

In recent months, local Afghan fighters claiming allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi have been attacking Taliban units, according to The New York Times. In some cases, the ISIS supporters have fully taken over some Taliban strongholds.

This purported rivalry, however, could prove beneficial to the United States — but the Obama administration must tread very carefully, Pregent told Hayworth.

"It's definitely something we can exploit, because when foreign fighters come into Afghanistan to start telling the Taliban what to do, you can exploit that," he said. "I'm not saying we work with the Taliban and kill ISIS, but you can exploit the fissures there — and you will get some informants to tell us that there is an ISIS base there.

"In the Farah Province, the Taliban basically overran one of these training camps that ISIS was establishing, ended up having a firefight, chased them out of there, and took about 55 prisoners, and then kicked the rest out of the country.

"So, there's places where we can exploit those fissures.

"We just want to make sure we don't make the Taliban look like the good guy now, either," Pregent warned. "We have to remember what they've been all about."

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Despite news reports that Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists beheaded 10 Taliban fighters on Wednesday, retired U.S. Army Gen. Paul E. Vallely told Newsmax TV Friday that he doesn't buy the idea that the jihadist groups are at odds with each other.
paul vallely, isis, taliban, rift, unconvincing
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2015-27-05
Friday, 05 Jun 2015 09:27 PM
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