BEIRUT (AFP) — Jihadists have launched a fresh bid to take over the Syria-Iraq border area and set up a so-called Islamic state they can control, rebels, activists and a monitoring group say.
“Their name is the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Their goal is to link together the two areas (Syria, Iraq) to set up their state and then to continue spreading,” said activist and citizen journalist Abdel Salam Hussein.
Speaking from Albu Kamal on the Iraq border, Hussein said ISIL, sometimes referred to as ISIS, seeks to crush the Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate, and control the eastern, energy-rich province of Deir Ezzor bordering Iraq.
“ISIL are trying to end Al-Nusra Front’s power in the area, and if they do they will take over” the whole province, he said.