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      Syrian Strife Stresses Shi'ite/Sunni Split

      A rift has developed among Islamists, as Shi'ite and Sunni terror groups pick sides in Syria's bloody civil war.
      By David Lev
      First Publish: 8/26/2013, 4:43 PM

      Syrian supporters of Al-Nusra march in Aleppo
      Syrian supporters of Al-Nusra march in Aleppo
      AFP photo

      A rift has developed among various terrorist groups, who until recently had overlooked religious differences to cooperate in fighting Israel and other western interests, as they find themselves fighting on different sides of the Shi'ite/Sunni fault line which increasingly characterizes fight for or against the rule of Bashar Al-Assad.

      The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command (PFLP-GC) terror group, which has conducted numerous terror attacks against Israel, is ready to defend Assad and ensure he remains president of Syria. Any group or nation that attacks Syria, said Popular Front spokesperson Anwar Rajah, will be a target of attack by Popular Front terrorists.

      "Their interests will be our legitimate targets,” the terror group said.

      On Friday, the IDF attacked a PFLP-GC base in south Lebanon. The attack came after terrorists from Lebanon fired several rockets at northern Israel. The Popular Front group in Lebanon is a leftist group, which in recent decades has aligned itself very closely with the Syrian regime, placing it in the same camp as the Shia Islamist group Hezbollah.

      The Popular Front proclamation underscores a rift among terrorist factions regarding Assad. Hezbollah, the largest terror group in Syria, is allied with Assad, but many of the smaller rebel groups fighting against the Syrian president are affiliated with Al Qaeda. On Monday, reports said that the chief Islamist rebel group, Jabhat al-Nusra, which is very closely identified with Al Qaeda, executed the leader of Syria's Alawite community.

      Sheikh Badar Razal, who headed the community, was kidnapped several weeks ago by rebel groups, as Al-Nusra conquered dozens of Alawite villages. Dozens of men have been killed, reports said, while the women and children are being held for ransom. Al-Nusra published a photo of Razal's body.

      Alawite Islam is a faction of Shi'ite Islam; Assad is an Alawite, while his main Islamist allies, Hizbullah and Iran, are Shi'ite. Both Shi'ites and Alawites are regarded as heretics by Sunni Muslims, which Al-Qaeda is affiliated with.