Al-Qaeda vows retaliation over military operation in Syria as air raids target ISIL fighters besieging Kurdish town

Al Qaeda branch Jabhat Al Nusra has promised retaliation on anti-ISIL coalition following recent air strikes against the organisation.

Nusra spokesman Abu Firas al Sudi said on Saturday that the stated involved had “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”, he added, “but a war against Islam.”

The threat came after US coalition widened its air strikes on ISIL targets in Syria, and the UK sent out its first fighting jets on a combat mission.

Although ISIL is the sworn enemy of Nusra, several leaders of the group were killed in the first air raid in Aleppo which has sparked the reaction. Listed as a terrorist group by the UN and the US, Nusra is one of the most powerful groups fighting in the Syrian regime.

The US have support from Arab allies Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the air campaign.

Although ISIL’s campaign in the area has driven 160,000 refugees over the Syrian border, many do not see the usefulness in the strikes against them as the group continues to gain ground.

The US and Arab allies began the air strikes against ISIL in Syria on Saturday, having been reluctant to intervene but sprung into action after ISIL captured more territory and committed widespread atrocities, including beheading three Western hostages.

Other countries are involved in the campaign against ISIL, including Belgium and Denmark who have also approved plans to join France and the Netherlands in targeting ISIL in Iraq, allowing Washington to focus on the more complex operation against its Syria base.

Emma Sofia Asberg, Correspondent (Politics)

Image Courtesy: Image Courtesy: Freedom House (https://www.flickr.com/photos/syriafreedom/6965688991), Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic | Flickr