An interesting article mentioned that the presence of al Qaida-linked groups fighting alongside rebels in Syria continues to grow – and reshape the conflict. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, as the local al Qaida affiliate is known, has fast been expanding its influence across virtually all rebel-held areas in northern Syria. It’s fighting alongside its ideological ally, the Nusra Front. Both the al Qaida and Nusra groups are led by veterans of the Iraqi insurgency, and both have flirted with the tactics that ultimately alienated them among Sunnis in that country who ultimately turned against them. Still, mainstream rebel factions have been reluctant to denounce the fierce Islamist militants they now find siding with them against the Damascus regime. That may be partly a factor of success. Would you like to know more?