BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:30 A.M.) – Reports are emerging that up to thirteen militant groups which operate in northwest Syria are to combine their military efforts and resources against pro-government forces under a new operations room.
According to the reports disseminated so far by opposition sources, the new operations room will comprise at least thirteen factions including:
- Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda);
- The Free Idlib Army (Free Syrain Army offshoot);
- Jaysh al-Izza;
- Turkistan Islamic Party (Salafist jihadist militant group made up of Uyghur colonists)
- Jaysh al-Nasr;
- The so-called ‘Soldiers of the Caucasus’ armed group;
- Jund al-Malahim;
- Ahrar al-Sham (Muslim Brotherhood affiliate);
- Noor al-Din al-Zenki;
- Jaysh al-Ahrar;
- Jaysh al-Nakhbah;
- Jaysh al-Thani; and
- Faylaq al-Sham.
At the present time, no name for the operation room has been stated, leading some to cast doubt on the validity of the reports by opposition sources.
However, if the reports are true then the Syrian Arab Army’s recent operations in northwest Syria most likely represent the pretext for the renewed feeling of cooperation between rebel groups that have otherwise been at war with each other as much as with pro-government forces over the last year.