Breaking News Bar
updated: 2/3/2014 7:21 AM

Al-Qaida breaks ties with group in Syria

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • In this photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC), which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Syrian rebels fire their anti-aircraft gun Saturday at Syrian forces airplanes in Aleppo, Syria. Syrian government helicopters and warplanes unleashed a wave of airstrikes on more than a dozen opposition-held neighborhoods in the northern city of Aleppo on Sunday, in a ferocious attack that killed at least 36 people, including 17 children, activists said. The AMC logo has been inserted in top right corner and the initials AMC appear on weapon.

      In this photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC), which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Syrian rebels fire their anti-aircraft gun Saturday at Syrian forces airplanes in Aleppo, Syria. Syrian government helicopters and warplanes unleashed a wave of airstrikes on more than a dozen opposition-held neighborhoods in the northern city of Aleppo on Sunday, in a ferocious attack that killed at least 36 people, including 17 children, activists said. The AMC logo has been inserted in top right corner and the initials AMC appear on weapon.
    associated press

 
Associated Press

CAIRO -- Al-Qaida broke off ties with one of its purported branches in Syria and distanced itself from the rebel infighting in that country's civil war, according to a statement Monday.

The announcement appeared to be an attempt by al-Qaida to put its house in order and reassert influence among rival Islamic groups that have turned against one another in Syria.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Signed by the al-Qaida "general command," the statement said the leadership has cut off the affiliate known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, after it disobeyed orders from the terror network's leader, Ayman al-Zawahri.

Al-Zawahri last May ordered the Islamic State to operate independently from a rival al-Qaida branch in Syria, the Nusra Front, led by Abu Mohammed al-Golani. Al-Baghdadi rejected al-Zawahri's orders and unsuccessfully sought to merge the two branches.

In Monday's statement, al-Qaida said it "did not approve of the creation of nor did it control" the Islamic State, and therefore has "no organizational ties with it."

"We distance ourselves from the sedition taking place among the mujahedeen factions (in Syria) and of the forbidden blood shed by any faction," the statement said of the infighting among Islamic extremists.

The jihadis, or holy warriors, it said, should realize the "enormity of the catastrophe" and the implications "this sedition" can have on the holy war in Syria. The authenticity of the statement could not independently be verified but it was posted on websites commonly used by al-Qaida.

The rebel-on-rebel fighting has added another bloody dimension to the Syrian crisis, which erupted in March 2011 as an uprising against President Bashar Assad's rule but later evolved into an armed insurgency and civil war.

The war provided fertile ground for militant Islamic groups and over time, the Islamic State and the Nusra Front emerged as the two main al-Qaida-linked groups until their falling out last spring. The Islamic State, meanwhile, largely eclipsed the Nusra Front in many parts of northern Syria.

Charles Lister of the Brookings Doha Center said the al-Qaida statement reflected its "attempt to definitively re-assert some level of authority over the jihad in Syria."

It also showed al-Qaida leadership's failure to take a genuinely commanding line in the rivalry between the Islamic State and the Nusra Front, and made it inevitable that al-Zawahri had to issue a decisive ruling with permanent consequences, said Lister.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here