World Bulletin / News Desk
Rival Syrian rebel groups have turned on each other near the Syrian-Iraqi border after Al Qaeda breakaway group ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) launched an attack on Al Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front-held sites.
According to reports, the ISIL have taken a number of Nusra Front bases. The group has also been in battle against the Free Syrian Army (FSA) opposition group in the region of Albu Kamal. 51 combatants are said to have been killed.
The Free Syrian Army declared war on the ISIL after their base in the Syrian-Turkish border town of Azaz came under attack last September.
Earlier this year, Al Qaeda chief Ayman Zawahri denounced the ISIL and disowned them after Iraq-based commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ignored an order to pull out of Syria, which had been designated to commander Abu Muhammad al-Golani's Nusra Front.
Despite disowning the ISIL, however, Zawahri continued his calls for rival opposition groups in Syria to set aside their differences and work together to bring down Bashar al-Assad's regime. The ISIL's Syria commander Abu Ibrahim Musalli recently issued a warning to 'Zawahri's gang', claiming that Zawahri had lost his legitimacy.
While a number of local Islamist rebel groups have united into the Islamic Front, which often co-operates with the Nusra Front, the ISIL has been hostile to both, as well as other opposition groups including Turkmen and Kurdish groups on the Turkish-Syrian border.
The ISIL have not only been hostile to rival rebel groups but also to neighbor Turkey. Having wrestled control from the FSA in certain districts in the Aleppo region, they have turned their attention to the Suleiman Shah tomb, which hosts a Turkish military base and is internationally recognized as Turkish territory.
Turkey have warned ISIL rebels that it will carry out airstrikes on their bases if the tomb of the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire is attacked. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu along with others have even accused the ISIL of being Bashar al-Assad's backstage partner against other rebel groups.
Last Mod: 11 Nisan 2014, 18:00