Qaeda chief calls for unity as jihadist schism deepens

DUBAI: Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has called for unity in a new interview amid widening divisions with a rival jihadist organisation rooted in the Syrian civil war. The interview, which the SITE monitoring service dated to between February and April, was released after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) accused al Qaeda of having “deviated from the correct path.” “They have divided the ranks of the mujahideen (holy warriors) in every place,” ISIL spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani said in a statement posted on jihadi forums. Zawahiri rejected the allegations, suggesting that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime may have penetrated jihadist groups in order to sow sedition, according to SITE, which translated his interview with a Qaeda-run media outlet. 

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