Syrian Islamist merger in northwest counters al Qaeda's clout

March 22, 2015 9:37 PM

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Syrian Islamist merger in northwest counters al Qaeda's clout

AMMAN (Reuters) - The powerful Syrian Islamist insurgent group Ahrar al-Sham has merged with a smaller jihadist faction in a move that could thwart the growing influence of al Qaeda's offshoot in northwestern Syria, jihadists sources said.

Ahrar al-Sham, one of the largest jihadist groups in Syria alongside Islamic State and Nusra, announced on Sunday a merger with the smaller Suqur al-Sham, which shares its strongly Islamist line.

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