Al-Qaeda faction carves out second jihadist ‘mini-state’ in Syria to rival Islamic State

A jihadist group that has pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda has taken over swathes of Syria as western forces have focused their efforts on defeating Islamic State.

The al-Nusra Front have carved out their own territory in the region, raising fears a second jihadist mini-state could thwart any attempts to end the barbarity.

The hardline Islamist fighting group has been gaining control across Idlib province in northern Syria since November, driving out other rebel groups, including western-armed moderates.