Jihadist leaders in Syria called Wednesday for a ceasefire among rival Islamist rebels who have been locked in a fierce fighting for almost three weeks, dpa reported.
Abu Omar al-Halabi, a field commander in the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, called on Islamist groups to end their infighting, which has reportedly killed more than 500 people.
"We must all return to the greater goal of defeating the regime and establishing an Islamic state in Syria," said al-Halabi, who is based in the embattled city of Aleppo in northern Syria.
His plea came one week after the chief of the al-Nusra Front, Mohammed al-Jolani, urged the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), another al-Qaeda-affiliated group, to reach a ceasefire with rival rebels.
Leaders of the regional jihadist movement echoed al-Halabi's calls, warning Islamist fighters against being "manipulated" by what they claimed is a "conspiracy" instigated by the Syrian regime and foreign powers to prolong the infighting.
"There have been some individual mistakes made by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, but these are being highlighted and manipulated by the media and foreign agendas to encourage a schism," said Saad Hneity, the leader of the Jordanian jihadist Salafist movement.
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