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Rudaw

Middle East

Al-Qaeda leader says he has no objection to Nusra Front breaking ranks

By Rudaw 8/5/2016
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. AFP file photo.
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. AFP file photo.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - The leader of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, released an audio recording where he implied that his group’s leadership would not mind if Jabhat al-Nusra – or Nusra Front -- decided to break ranks.

If they chose to do so, Zawahiri said, according to al-Jazeera, they will not hinder "the great hopes of the Islamic nation."

While Nusra is the Syrian wing of al-Qaeda it has sought to distinguish itself from the group, claiming it only seeks to promote the national aspirations of the Syrian people. Unlike Islamic State (ISIS) it has worked with other groups fighting the Bashar al-Assad regime in Damascus.

When Nusra refused to sever its links to Zawahiri and pledge its allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi an intra-Islamist civil war broke out between the two groups in Syria, killing hundreds on each side.

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