- The Washington Times - Monday, February 3, 2014

Al Qaeda’s general command said in a statement posted online Monday that its group was severing all ties with certain rebel fighters in Syria.

Specifically, al Qaeda said it’s cutting ties with the Islamic State of Iraq and with the Levant, which is led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, The Times of Israel reported. The command said the groups disobeyed orders from Ayman al-Zawahri, the leader of the terror network.

Last May, al-Zawahri ordered the Islamic State of Iraq to separate itself and work independently of another al Qaeda branch seen as a rival force, the Nusra Front. Al-Baghdadi ignored the order, and instead tried to reunite the two groups, The Times of Israel reported.

The Internet posting could not be independently verified, but the message was placed on a site where al Qaeda normally communicates, The Times of Israel said.