[QODLink]
Middle East

ISIL says it faces war with Nusra in Syria

Rebel faction slams rival group Jabhat al-Nusra for "betrayal and treason" as it responds to demand to end infighting.

Last updated: 08 Mar 2014 06:19
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Nusra gave its rivals a five-day ultimatum to accept mediation or be "expelled" from the region [AFP]

An al-Qaeda breakaway group says it faces a war with rival Islamic factions who want to destroy it, describing Syria's al-Qaeda-linked branch as the "front of betrayal and treason".

The statement by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Friday came a week after the leader of the al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra gave it a five-day ultimatum to accept mediation to end infighting or be "expelled'' from the region.

Battles between the rival groups that began in early January have killed more than 3,000 people, activists say. The fighting in northern Syria, in which Nusra is backed by other Islamic groups, has been the deadliest between opposition fighters since the country's crisis began three years ago.

ISIL's spokesman, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, said in a 22-minute audio clip posted online that his group's rivals tried to defeat ISIL "when they saw it was getting more powerful''.

"They resorted to force and thought that they would be able to wipe it within a few days or hours. They prepared for a military campaign all over Syria and accompanied it with a propaganda campaign to harm the image of [ISIL] and turn the people against it,'' Adnani said.

'Betrayal and treason'

"They then launched the campaign of betrayal and treason but they were surprised that [ISIL] was more solid than they expected and they failed in breaking it."

Last week, Abu Mohammed al-Golani, Nusra's leader, suggested arbitration by Muslim leaders to stop the infighting. He warned ISIL that it would be driven from Syria and "even from Iraq'' if it rejected the results of arbitration.

Adnani responded that his group did not reject offers to resort to arbitration but he criticised Nusra's top Muslim cleric and a member of its Shura Council.

Meanwhile on Friday, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported heavy fighting between ISIL and Nusra in the northeastern town of Markada, saying 23 fighters were killed on both sides.

The observatory said ISIL fighters had advanced in the town and captured wheat silos in the area.

338

Source:
Associated Press
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Traditional spring festival blossoms outside India through fun runs, raves and TV commercials.
Parents unable to look after children are marrying them off at a tender age, exposing them to maternal deaths.
A US outbreak of algae-produced biotoxins that attack animals'?? brains also poses a grave risk to humans.
Israel has re-arrested dozens of Palestinians in the West Bank, an act a human rights group says is 'unjustified'.
New measures needed as dozens of citizens fighting with Islamic State pose home-grown terror threat, PM Abbott says.
join our mailing list