Events in an obscure corner of war-ravaged Syria have raised questions about the roles of two Sydney brothers and Islamic preachers -- one living, the other dead -- who left their families and jobs in Australia to join the international jihad against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Sheikh Fedaa al-Majzoub, a former vice-president of Australia’s National Imams Council, is an activist in the opposition Syrian National Council, a Muslim Brotherhood-dominated organisation based in Turkey. He has been a frequent visitor to rebel-held districts of northern Syria.