Al-Qaida claims killing of Syrian soldiers in Iraq

March 11 - Al-Qaida has claimed responsibility for killing 48 Syrian soldiers and government employees in Iraq last week, citing their presence as proof of collusion between the Shi'ite-led government in Baghdad and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
"Military detachments succeeded in annihilating an entire column of the Safavid army," al-Qaida's Iraqi wing, Islamic State of Iraq, said in a statement posted online, referring to the dynasty that ruled Shi'ite Iran from the 16th to 18th centuries.
It said the presence of the Syrians in Iraq showed the Baghdad government's "firm co-operation" with Assad. The Syrian leader's Alawite faith is derived from Shi'ite Islam.