ISIL criticizes Zawahiri, refuses to leave Syria
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have released a new recording that levels harsh criticism against the current leader of al Qaeda, Ayman al Zawahiri, AFP reports. ISIL, one of the most powerful groups in the Syrian opposition, also called for Zawahiri to replace the leader of rival rebel group al Nusra Front.
"Either you continue with your mistake and remain stubborn, and the division and fighting among the mujahedeen will continue, or you confess to your mistake and correct it. You make the mujahedeen sad, and make the enemy of the mujahedeen gloat because you support the traitor (the leader of al Nusra Front)…Review yourself and stand in front of God to correct what you have ruined,” spokesman Abu Mohammed al Adnani said in the recording.
According to AFP, ISIL is also rejecting Zawahiri’s call for them to leave Syria and go back to Iraq, saying it is “impossible because it is unreasonable, unrealistic, and illegitimate.”
ISIL and al Nusra Front have been fighting against each other in addition to fighting against Assad’s forces in Syria. While al Nusra has been accepted by multiple opposition groups, ISIL has been criticized for brutal attacks against civilians and was disavowed by al Qaeda in February.