In Syria, al-Nusra has pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda.
The jihadist group fighting in Syria confirmed its links with but distanced itself from a full merger with al-Qaeda’s Iraq branch in an audio tape posted online which stated:
“This is a pledge of allegiance from the sons of the al-Nusra Front and their supervisor general that we renew to the Sheikh of Jihad, Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri, may Allah preserve him. We give a pledge of allegiance for obedience in good and bad, in emigration and jihad.
This follows news from Iraq that al-Qaeda leader al-Zawahiri proclaimed the two groups would operate as one under the title of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant.
Western leaders have been reluctant to arm rebel groups in Syria over concerns weapons would end up in the hands of groups like al-Nusra.
This latest development is likely to be part of the talks when G8 ministers meet in London later this week.