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International efforts against Al-Qaeda key to Syria political solution

A UN counterterrorism committee can do even more to coordinate a more effective response to al-Qaeda in Syria and eventually a political resolution of the conflict.
A member of Islamist Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra mans a checkpoint on the border crossing between Syria and Jordan, which they claim to have taken control of, in Daraa December 26, 2013. Flag reads, "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet. Al-Nusra front, al-Qaeda in the Levant". Picture taken December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Ammar Khassawneh (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT) - RTX16VW7
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The Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra recently announced it would follow orders from al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri and discontinue attacks against rival group, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). In its May 4 announcement, Jabhat al-Nusra stated, "We announce our acceptance of the orders of Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahri to stop any attacks against ISIS while ensuring they do not attack Muslims."

This statement followed a truce between the two sides, both affiliated with al-Qaeda, after days of fighting in the eastern Syrian province of Deir ez-Zour that borders Iraq, which resulted in the deaths of 60 rebels and the displacement of thousands of civilians according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring organization.

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