Syria rebel group pledges allegiance to al-Qaeda

  • The leader of a jihadist group fighting in Syria has pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

    In an audio message on Wednesday, Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani confirmed al-Nusra’s ties with al-Qaeda's Iraq branch but added that he had not been consulted over the merger between the two groups.

    Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of the Islamic State in Iraq, known as the Iraqi wing of al-Qaeda, announced on Tuesday that his group would be joining with al-Nusra under the name, The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

    Jawlani said he learned about the announcement through the media and has maintained his group will not change its policies in Syria.

    Al-Nusra has claimed responsibility for several suicide bombings and attacks against state targets.

    The group is considered a terrorist organization by the United States.

    Explore the geography of Iraq, visit Iraq Map

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