ALEPPO – The Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham is considered one of the strongest Islamist rebel groups in Syria. After forming a joint operations’ chamber along with al-Qaeda wing in Syria, the Nusra Front, the group was engaged in battles with the Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Aleppo.
Speaking to ARA News in an exclusive interview, Abu Yousef Al-Muhajir, top commander and official spokesman of the Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham, accused the Kurds of being used by parties combatting Islamist rebels in Syria.
“There is no difference between the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the regime’s troops or the Russian forces, because they all attack us (Islamist rebels),” he said. “The YPG has been combating our forces at the battlefronts in northern Aleppo, where they recently captured the towns of Mayeh and Zaara.”
“The YPG forces are merely a tool in the hands of the Assad regime, Russia and the United States,” Al-Muhajir argued. “U.S. and Russia drop weapons to the Kurdish forces in order to increase chaos on the ground. We have seen how Russian warplanes dropped weapons and other military supplies to the YPG in order to obstacle our progress against the regime’s forces in different areas, including Sheikh Maqsoud district in Aleppo.”
Al-Muhajir said that the Kurdish units have recently cut off the rebels’ supply route in Aleppo. “Now they (Kurds) are seizing control of villages and towns in the vicinity of Azaz city. The YPG is also preparing itself to storm the towns of Nubul and Zahra in Aleppo countryside. We (Islamist brigades) are now in a collective war with the Kurds.”
“The Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham has several enemies in Syria, including ISIS, Kurdish YPG, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), pro-Assad army and Shiite militias from Afghanistan and Lebanese Hezbollah, beside their supporters such as Russia and Iran. We consider all those parties as mercenaries and absolute enemies,” the Islamist leader told ARA News in Aleppo.
Regarding the Russian intervention in Syria, Al-Muhajir considered the Russian airstrikes as “a desperate attempt to save Assad”.
“We admit that the intensified Russian raids have helped pro-Assad troops to make some gains on the ground, as most of those strikes hit opposition headquarters in Syria, especially in the southern and northern countrysides of Aleppo and the coastal region. All rebel groups have been affected by the Russian airstrikes not only the Islaimc Movement of Ahrar al-Sham,” he said.
Answering a question by ARA News on the relation between Ahrar al-Sham and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, Al-Muhajir said: “Nusra Front is one of the most powerful groups on the ground in Syria, and it had made remarkable gains. Our cooperation with the Nusra Front is limited to forming a joint military chamber in order to coordinate the operations against the regime and its allies.”
Commenting on the ongoing UN-led Syria peace talks in Geneva between delegations from the Syrian opposition and the Assad regime, the official spokesman of the Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham said: “The Geneva conference is merely a green light for the Assad regime and Russia to kill more innocent people in Syria, and this was apparent in the position of the UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura. This is just a green light for pro-Assad forces to kill and displace more civilians, to destroy more areas and put more pressures on the countries that support the Syrian revolution.”
“The Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham and its allies consider the Geneva conference as a conspiracy against the Syrian people. Such talks could never serve the Syrian revolution. None of the powerful countries could convince Bashar al-Assad and Russia to stop killing people and making more damage,” he concluded.
Interview by: Ahmed Shiwesh
Source: ARA News
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