The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

World News

June 12, 2014

Al-Qaida breakaway pursuing an Islamic state

(Continued)

BEIRUT —

Salman Shaikh, director of The Brookings Doha Center in Qatar, said the Islamic State has counted on an informal coalition in Iraq of former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party, tribal fighters and its own militants, "which is why this poses such a difficult challenge to Maliki and his U.S.-trained forces."

"As long as they're focused on Maliki and that goal rather than broader sort of Islamic goals or on taking on the local communities, they'll continue probably to thrive," Shaikh said. "If they start to lose the support of the local community, then they'll be in trouble."

___

Associated Press writers Diaa Hadid and Sam Kimball in Beirut, Ken Dilanian in Washington and Adam Schreck in Dubai contributed to this report.

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