IDLIB – An important group of Syrian Islamists pledged allegiance to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, which was formerly a branch of al-Qaeda. Jabhat Fateh al-Sham was previously known as Jabhat al-Nusra.
Jund al-Aqsa’s leadership said in a statement on Sunday that their fighters had sworn allegiance to Fateh al-Sham. Both organizations have been listed by the United States as terrorist entities.
Jund al-Aqsa has fought against the Syrian Army in both Idlib and Aleppo Governorates. Recently, fighting broke out between Jund al-Aqsa and other Islamist groups in Syria’s northwestern Idlib Governorate.
In pledging its allegiance, Jund al-Aqsa said it was trying to end rifts with other jihadi factions, mainly the Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham. The infighting in Idlib has killed dozens of militants on both sides.
“Settling those differences was important to avoid weakening the rebels fighting against the Assad regime,” Jund al-Aqsa said. The extremists added that they would work side by side with other rebel factions in northern Syria as part of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.
It was not immediately clear whether Jabhat Fateh al-Sham could protect its new members from Anhrar al-Sham. Ahmed Karali, a spokesman for the latter, said: “The decision to uproot [Jund al-Aqsa] was taken in consultation with other rebel groups and we will not halt a task we’ve started.”
Reporting by: Riyad al-Hassan | Source: ARA News
For the latest news follow us on Twitter
Join our Weekly Newsletter