Al-Nusra commits to Al-Qaeda, cool on Iraq branch 'merger'

The head of Syria's jihadist Al-Nusra Front on Wednesday pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri in an audio message, but distanced his group from claims it had merged with Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

"The sons of Al-Nusra Front pledge allegiance to Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri," Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani said in the recording.

But, he added, "we were not consulted" on an announcement on Tuesday of a merger of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and Al-Nusra Front.