Reuters reports that al-Qaeda leader Amyan al-Zawahri released an audio recording on Sunday night, urging extremist militant groups in Syria and Iraq to join forces against the US and Russia.
This contradicts an earlier statement made by Zawahri, when he denounced Daesh and its leader, calling them "illegitimate" in a recording released in September. But with US troops headed to Syria and ongoing airstrikes, Zawahri has changed his position.
"The Americans, Russians, Iranians, Alawites, and Hezbollah are coordinating their war against us -- are we not capable of stopping the fighting amongst ourselves so we can direct all our efforts against them?" Zawahri said in an audio recording released on the Internet on Sunday, Reuters reports.
Infighting has been an ongoing problem for Daesh and other extremist militant groups in Syria and Iraq. As Al Bawaba previously reported, dozens of Daesh fighters killed each other over stolen property disputes this summer.
Violence in the region escalated with the US and Russian airstrikes. A senior al-Qaeda commander was killed in one of the airstrikes on October 18.
With Zawahri's recent statement, al-Qaeda is poised to take a more active role in the conflict.
"My mujahideen brothers in all places and of all groups ... we face aggression from America, Europe, and Russia ... so it's up to us to stand together as one from East Turkestan to Morocco," Zawahri said.
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