Despite being entirely encircled by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), two major Syrian rebel groups began attacking one another in Aleppo’s eastern districts on Wednesday.
For reasons unbeknownst to Al-Masdar News, Islamist fighters of ‘Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki’ stormed several checkpoints held by the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) Fastaqim Union in the Salaheddine District and Al-Ansari Mashhad neighbourhood and arrested dozens of FSA fighters along with leading commander ‘Istakem kma Oumrt’ on Wednesday.
In response to the arrests, the Fastaqim Union opened fire upon positions held by Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the infighting resulted in the death of 1 militant and injured 25 more.
Remarkably, both rebel groups are backed by the United States government and have received U.S. manufactured TOW anti-tank missiles.
Skirmishes are ongoing in eastern Aleppo as we speak; meanwhile, the Abou Omara Brigade and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham were said to have joined the clashes on behalf of Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki.
In the not so distant past, rebel infighting has plagued the Syrian Opposition in several rebel-held regions, including Idlib, northern Hama and the East Ghouta. In the latter two cases, the infighting was exploited by the SAA to advance.