A Jabhat al-Nusra spokesman tells the blog Syria Direct that rumors of an alliance between his al-Qaida affiliate and the Islamic State are false.
Western media sources published reports last week that both jihadist factions reached an agreement at a Nov. 2 meeting to stop fighting each other and destroy the U.S.-aligned Syrian Revolutionaries Front.
The spokesman from Jabhat al-Nusra's media office in northwestern Syria's Idlib province, identified as Abu Azzam al-Ansari, confirmed that the group sent representatives to meet with those from the Islamic State.
But the Islamic State's representatives rejected their offer of reconciliation, al-Ansari said.
He showed suspicion of the Islamic State in the interview, saying it has been "penetrated by American [spies]" to give the West an excuse for bombing everyone who "subscribes to the Salafi-jihadi strain of thought."
Al-Ansari also dismissed the Obama administration's use of the term "Khorasan Group" to describe a cell of al-Qaida fighters, saying that it really is his own group, Jabhat al-Nusra. The term was used to "mislead" people to hide the fact they were actually fighting al-Qaida in Syria.
Mentioning the recent fighting between Jabhat al-Nusra and the Western-backed Syrian Revolutionaries Front that led to the rout of the latter, al-Ansari said his group opposed the "implementation of any foreign agendas" in Syria.
"We're Muslims, and Allah – blessed be Allah exalted – ordered us to rule with Islam, and we won't be satisfied to anything else," al-Ansari said.