Two Major Islamist Groups in Syria Unite

World | February 19, 2018, Monday // 14:20|  views

Two major Islamist rebel groups operating in northern Syria are uniting, the France press reported.

"We, Ahhar al-Sham, and Nuredin al Zinki, declare our fusion the name of the Syrian Liberation Front," says a message of the two groups operating in the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib.

Idlib is the only province in which the Bashar Assad regime has almost no presence. It is under the control of the Jihadist coalition, Hait Tahrir al-Sham, dominated by the former Syrian branch of al-Qaida. The merger of the two Islamist groups is due to the rise in the influence of Haiti Tahrir al-Sham, analyst Sam Heller, an analyst at the International Crisis Group, told AFP.

"The aim of the merger is to create a counterweight to the Haiti Tahrir al-Sham," he said. The armed opposition to the regime of Assad has broken down into a number of factions, while the influence of jihadist groups such as the Hait Tahrir al-Sham has grown, AFP notes. In the conflict that raged in Syria in 2011, over 340,000 people have been killed. It grew into a complex war involving a large number of participants.

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Tags: Islamist, groups, merger, Syria


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