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Surge of two al Qaeda organizations in Syria: the Jabhat al-Nusra and the AQI Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

Paolo Dall´Oglio, Italian catholic priest allegedly killed by al Qaeda in Syria. Photo Credit AFP

Paolo Dall´Oglio, Italian catholic priest allegedly killed by al Qaeda in Syria. Photo Credit AFP

BEIRUT — A rebranded version of Iraq’s al-Qaeda affiliate is surging onto the front lines of the war in neighboring Syria, expanding into territory seized by other rebel groups and carving out the kind of sanctuaries that the U.S. military spent more than a decade fighting to prevent in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the four months since the Iraqi al-Qaeda group changed its name to reflect its growing ambitions, it has forcefully asserted its presence in some of the towns and villages captured from Syrian government forces. It has been bolstered by an influx of thousands of foreign fighters from the region and beyond. READ STORY HERE

On the other hand ,  a Syrian rights group (the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights) said al-Qaeda-linked fighters have killed Paolo Dall’Oglio, the Italian priest who disappeared in eastern Syria late last month. READ ARTICLE HERE