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Al-Qaeda Divides Over Syria, Iraq

As al-Qaeda and its various branches take advantage of instability throughout the Middle East, Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria and the Islamic State of Iraq have seen rifts between themselves recently.
Detainees suspected of being part of an armed cell with links to al Qaeda are shown to the media during a news conference at the Defence Ministry in Baghdad June 1, 2013. The four men are accused of planning to make chemical weapons like nerve and mustard gas, according to the ministry.                           REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST CRIME LAW POLITICS) - RTX10827
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The disputes that have erupted between the two fronts of al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria — the Islamic State of Iraq and Jabhat al-Nusra — which necessitated the intervention of the leader of the international organization, Ayman al-Zawahri, did not give much cause for optimism in Iraq about a possible major divide in the ranks of the organization across the border.

Zawahri spoke of what he called “the geographical scope of the Islamic State of Iraq in Iraq, and that of Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria.” He said that this arrangement was more of an organizational process rather than an ideological separation. However, he stressed that the extreme armed forces that are active in Iraq are subject to defections, on different bases.

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