Syrian Al-Qaeda Splinter Group Slams Nusra ‘Betrayal’

23 Killed in Fighting Between Factions in Markada

Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) has issued a new statement today mocking rival al-Qaeda faction the Nusra Front, dubbing them a “front of betrayal and treason” which had tried to defeat them militarily and failed.

Last week Nusra had given AQI a five day ultimatum to agree to arbitration by clerics over territorial disputes, and fighting continues between the two factions, with 23 reported killed today in Markada, in the northeast.

The fighting between the two sides began with an offensive by Nusra and the Islamic Front to try to take territory from AQI. They lost momentum fairly quickly, and much of AQI’s lost territory was retaken.

The fight also has an international component, with al-Qaeda’s parent organization disavowing AQI and endorsing Nusra as their representative faction in Syria. Despite this, AQI remains the stronger faction, controlling much more land than their rivals.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.