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Al-Qaida Spokesman Criticizes Rival Syrian Rebels

Al-Qaida Spokesman Criticizes Rival Syrian Rebels

(AP) BEIRUT
An al-Qaida spokesman is accusing Western-backed rebels fighting to topple the Syrian government of “stealing” credit for battlefield victories from his group.

Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, a spokesman for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, says commanders of the Free Syrian Army are claiming territorial gains made by al-Qaida fighters.

In an audio message posted on a militant website on Monday, al-Adnani cites the August capture of the Mannagah air base in northern Syria as an example.

He says some FSA fighters took part in the battle for the base and an FSA commander took credit for it, but it was actually captured by al-Qaida.

Al-Qaida militants have in the past year emerged as some of the most organized and successful fighting forces on the opposition side in Syria.

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