A member of the Iraqi security forces opens fire during clashes with fighters from Sunni militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria in Ibrahim bin Ali village, west of Baghdad, June 24, 2014. (REUTERS/Ahmed Saad)
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The local unit of Al-Qaeda's Syrian branch in the tinderbox town of Albu Kamal on the Iraqi border pledged loyalty Wednesday to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, giving ISIL control over both sides of the frontier.ISIL waded in to Syria's civil war in the spring of last year on the side of rebels seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad, but its systematic abuses and quest for hegemony quickly turned Syrian rebels, including Islamists, against it.As a result, fighting broke out in January between ISIL and Syrian rebels, which eventually drew Al-Nusra in against its fellow jihadist organisation.Rebels fighting ISIL and the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad distributed amateur video footage of a rebel parade in Albu Kamal, which Abu Leyla described as a warning to the jihadists positioned just across the border.
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