Al Qaeda fight­ers in Syria

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

AMMAN— Al Qaeda leader Ay­man alZawahri urged ri­val ji­hadist fight­ers in Syria to unite or risk death but again de­cried fel­low Sunni Mus­lim mil­i­tants Is­lamic State as “ex­trem­ists” in an au­dio record­ing posted on­line on Sun­day. As suc­ces­sor to Osama bin Laden, Zawahri has the al­le­giance of al Qaeda branches in the Mid­dle East, North Africa and South Asia. But the group’s dom­i­nance is be­ing chal­lenged by Is­lamic State, which con­trols ter­ri­tory in Syria and Iraq and fol­low­ings in Libya and Ye­men. In Syria, al Qaeda off­shoot Nusra Front and Is­lamic State are the two most pow­er­ful groups fight­ing gov­ern­ment forces. Once a sin­gle group, they split in 2013, largely due to a power strug­gle among lead­ers.— Reuters

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