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SITUATION REPORT

Jun 9, 2013 | 11:30 GMT

Iraq: Top Al Qaeda Leader Rules Against Merger With Syrian Group

Top al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has ruled against a merger of the Islamic State in Iraq (an offshoot of the al Qaeda core) and Syrian jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra, according to a letter from al-Zawahiri to the groups, Al Jazeera reported June 9. The move was reportedly an attempt to end infighting among group members. The two organizations' April 9 merger has created international concern over jihadist proliferation in a post-al Assad Syria and was a setback for the Syrian rebels' cause.

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