Syrian activists say powerful tribe in town near Iraq pledge allegiance to jihadi group

Syrian activists say rebel factions affiliated with a powerful tribe in an eastern stronghold of al-Qaida's Syrian affiliate have pledged allegiance to the rival Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

In an activist video posted online Thursday by the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a man is seen reading a statement in which "the people of the town" of Sheheil "swear allegiance" to the extremist group and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The group, which was ejected from al-Qaida earlier this year, recently declared an Islamic state in areas it controls in Syria and Iraq.

Most Syrian rebel groups have rejected the declaration and have fought al-Baghdadi's militants in towns along the Iraq border, including in Sheheil, a stronghold of the Nusra Front, al-Qaida's official Syrian branch.