Øverste leder for al-Qaida sentralt, Ayman al-Zawahiri, kritiserer i skarpe ordelag ISIS, den mest ytterliggående gruppen i Syria, som har ligget i væpnet kamp med Den islamske fronten, en sammenslutning av islamistgrupper.

Kampene har kostet 1700 liv de siste ukene.

Zawahiri kutter alle bånd med ISIS, men det kommer ikke ISIS og dets leder Baghdidi til å bry seg noe om.

 Since January 3, more than 1700 people have been killed in fighting between Islamic State and other factions, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. On Saturday, the Islamic State killed two senior commanders from factions that make up the Islamic Front, one of them in a giant suicide bombing that killed more than two dozen people near the northern city of Aleppo.

At the same time, the Islamic State’s leader al-Baghdadi has brought his group back to the forefront in his homeland Iraq. The past month, his fighters rose up and virtually took over main cities of Iraq’s western Anbar province, and they continue to hold out against sieges by Iraqi government troops. His group has sought to present itself as the voice of that country’s Sunni minority against the Shiite-led government.

That has made al-Baghdadi a powerful force in the jihadi movement. Notably, the main militant group in Egypt, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, saluted the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant in an audiotape released in January – a reflection of its influence.

With today’s statement, al-Qa’ida appeared intent on undercutting al-Baghdadi’s allure by making clear he was not supported by the central leadership.

Al-Qa’ida’s general command announced it had «no connection» with the Islamic State, underlined that the group «is not a branch of the al-Qa’ida organisation,» and said al-Qa’ida «is not responsible for its actions.»

Al-Qa’ida did not condone the group’s creation «and in fact ordered it to stop,» the statement said.