“Unified under U.S. strikes”.. Al-Qaeda senior officers join Islamic State


ARA News

Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan Dozens of Jabht al-Nusra’s (al-Nusra Front) leading members agreed last week to join the ranks of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) in Syria.

Speaking to ARA News, one of al-Nusra dissidents said that “the ongoing U.S.-led airstrikes against the IS unified many Islamist factions”. 

“Seniors officers of the Jabha (al-Nusra Front) decided to join the ranks of the Islamic State to fight the enemies of Islam,” he said, under the condition  of anonymity. “For me, whether fighting under the flag of al-Qaeda or the Islamic State doesn’t make any difference, as long as we’re all fighting the same enemy.”

Speaking to ARA News, one of IS-linked sources mentioned that Ja’far al-Shami and Saad al-Hneti, senior officers in al-Nusra, assented and pledged allegiance to the IS “when arriving to its territory”.

“At least 40 al-Nusra dissidents joined the Islamic State last week,” the same source said. 

Jabhat al-Nusra is al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria. The group has been fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad side by side with the Syrian rebel forces. Al-Nusra has clashed with IS group on several occasions in Syria, as several of its leaders were beheaded by the IS militants. 

Meanwhile, several IS militants deserted the group in Syria’s Raqqa and Iraq’s Mosul.

Local sources in Raqqa told ARA News that seven IS separatists were arrested by the group in Raqqa on Saturday. 


Reporting by: Serbaz Yusuf

Source: ARA News  

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