THE Syrian terror group Jabhat al-Nusra has denounced US air strikes against Isil as "a war against Islam" and vowed to take revenge against the coalition of countries supporting military action in the region.
In a statement, al-Nusra spokesman Abu Firas al-Suri called on jihadists around the world to strike against the global alliance opposing the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
He said: "These states have committed a horrible act that is going to put them on the list of jihadist targets throughout the world.
"This is not a war against al-Nusra, but a war against Islam."
Led by the US, a coalition of about 40 countries, including Arab states, is taking steps to destroy the radical Islamist group Isil, which controls vast swathes of north-eastern Syria and northern Iraq. Though al-Nusra is an affiliate group of Isil, it is not officially a target of the air strikes. US jets have attacked a new group called Khorasan, which some analysts believe is part of Jabhat al-Nusra.
This international response represents a mutual enemy of former rival jihadist groups Isil and al-Nusra, with recent reports describing an emerging alliance.
An al-Nusra source said: "There are hardline voices inside Nusra who are pushing for reconciliation with Islamic State."
An increasing number of al-Nusra fighters are defecting to Isil, which is seen as better organised and better equipped . (© Independent News Service)