Middle East

Syria's Nusra sets conditions to stop fighting ISIS

A member of the Islamist Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra fires during clashes with Syrian forces in eastern al-Ghouta, near Damascus April 8, 2014. Picture taken April 8, 2014. REUTERS/Ammar Al-Bushy

BEIRUT: Syria's Al-Qaeda affiliate on Sunday set its conditions to stop battling the rival Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, despite an order by the Al-Qaeda chief to quit fighting.

Al-Nusra Front and ISIS have in recent months fought intense, bloody battles against each other, particularly in eastern Syria on the border with Iraq.

"We will follow the orders of... Ayman al-Zawahiri... to stop any attack from our side against ISIS, while continuing to respond whenever they attack Muslims and all that is sacred to them," Al-Nusra said in a statement.

"As soon as ISIS announces the end of its attacks on Muslims, we will spontaneously stop firing," said the jihadist group, adding it had only fought ISIS in areas "where it was on the attack".

While rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad initially welcomed both Al-Nusra Front and later ISIS in the Syrian war, widespread opposition to ISIS later emerged over its quest for dominance in opposition-held areas.

Rebels including Islamists launched a massive offensive against ISIS on January 3, and Al-Nusra Front joined the fight against the group later on.

As far back as last June, Zawahiri weighed in on ISIS's involvement in Syria, designating Al-Nusra as responsible for operations there and ordering ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to restrict the group's activities to its home base in Iraq.





Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (

comments powered by Disqus



Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here