A rebel fighter holding a weapon watches snipers as he rushes to cross a street on February 3, 2014 in the northeastern city of Deir Ezzor.(AFP PHOTO / AHMAD ABOUD)
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Al-Qaeda's central leadership broke Monday with the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), who in defiance of its orders joined Syria's fighting, fueling bitter infighting among militant opposition factions in the civil war.It also reflected a move by Zawahri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden as the group's leader, to re-establish Al-Qaeda's eminence in the jihadi movement in general, at a time when new militant groups have mushroomed not only Syria but around the region, inspired by Al-Qaeda's ideology but not linked to it by organization.The announcement sharpens a dispute raging the past year between Al-Qaeda's central leadership and ISIS, which spread into Syria in early 2013, led by the head of Al-Qaeda's branch in Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Capt. Islam Alloush, a military spokesman for the Islamic Front, said Al-Qaeda's announcement came late but praised it for isolating ISIS.
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