Militant Islamist fighters ride horses as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A senior Islamic State commander was killed on Monday by disgruntled members of the jihadist group in internecine fighting that has wracked the movement in its de facto capital of Raqqa, Kurdish news agencies are reporting.
According to the reports, Abu Ali al-Tunisi, the commander of the military wing of ISIS' northern Syria branch, was killed by his former charges, triggering even more widespread dissension within the ranks.
"Clashes have broken out within the organization following the killing of al-Tunisi," said a Kurdish media outlet in the area. "Exchanges of gunfire between the two sides subsided only after the ISIS secret police managed to arrest three of the gunmen who killed the senior commander."
The incident was apparently precipitated by growing tension within the military wing over divisions of powers on the ground as well as the distribution of profits.
There is also a widening chasm between Syrian fighters and foreign volunteers. The Syrians have grown disenchanted over what they believe to be preferential treatment and perks given to their foreign comrades.
The Syrian fighters are also upset over a recent round of promotions in which foreign volunteers were bumped to senior positions at their expense.
Al-Tunisi, as his name would indicate, is one of the foreign volunteers placed in a command post. The local gunmen were unhappy when fighters from his homeland of Tunisia were promoted, according to the report.