Rather than uniting to fight a common foe in Syria -- dictator Bashar al-Assad and his regime -- Islamist organizations are attacking and killing one another with their latest battle in Syria on Thursday leaving at least 50 dead, according to counterterrorism expert and former police advisor Richard Nearey.
This latest incident of violent infighting among rival rebel groups in east Syria has practically assured Assad a victory, Nearey said.
The group formerly known as al-Qaeda in Iraq, now calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, fought against two other groups -- the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front and the Islamic Front -- in the Syria-Iraq border city of Bukamal, according to Arab news media.
The terrorist groups' combat operations left 50 rebels dead and dozens wounded and the fighting is considered far from over for the combatants which may increase the death toll and casualty count.
According to reports in the Middle East news media, Nusra Front commanders have sent for more members to help turn the tide on ISIL who continue to receive additional fighters, weapons, ammunition and other supplies from Iraq.
The Nusra Front and the Islamic Front originally captured the city from Assad's troops. However, Iraq's al-Anbar City is closeby and known for being an ISIL-controlled region.
According to Richard Nearey, the combat between the Islamist rebel groups has become more and more intense in 2014.
In one incident, the ISIL killed two rebel commanders after fighting alongside them against Assad forces, according to an Examiner news story.