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Al-Qaeda Leader Calls On Islamists To Unite

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has reportedly called on feuding Islamic groups in Syria to stop attacking each other and focus on ousting the Syrian government.

The call came in a five-minute audio message purportedly from Zawahri, posted on the Internet late on January 22.

In the recording, Zawahri said the goal in Syria is to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad and his government.

The Al-Qaeda leader urged "an end to fighting between brothers in jihad and Islam immediately."

Since the start of January, the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been involved in fighting in northern Syria with other Islamic groups, some of them also linked with Al-Qaeda.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on January 23 that 1,395 people had been killed in that fighting since January 3.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP