Al Qaeda's Iraq branch is claiming responsibility for the deaths of 48 Syrian soldiers in the western Anbar province.
On March 4, the Islamic State of Iraq ambushed the troops on their way back to Syria. They were seeking refuge in northern Iraq during recent clashes.
"The lions of the desert and the men of the impossible missions set up traps along the road that leads to the border exits," the group said in a statement on their website.
"The fighters launched an attack from two directions using light and medium range weapons as well as rocket propelled grenades," they said. "Within less than half an hour the whole convoy ... was annihilated."
The attack suggests possible coordination between al Qaeda's Iraq branch and its allies in Syria, who are fighting on the side of the rebels.