According to a rebel source, a dozen former ISIS militants – including Tunisian Islamic jurist Bilal al-Shuwash al-Tunsi and his companion Abu Dharr al-Tunsi – arrived to Idlib province on Tuesday after crossing the border with aid from Turkey.

Their defection was facilitated in late November through radio coordination with Jaysh Usud al-Sharqiya, a Free Syrian Army (FSA) group which has advanced alongside other Turkish-backed rebel factions in the northern Aleppo countryside during operation ‘Euphrates Shield’.

After a thorough security screening, the ISIS defectors were given the green light to travel through Turkey and once again cross the border into the Jaysh al-Fateh heartland of Idlib province.

According to the source, Bilal al-Shuwash al-Tunsi and his fighters have now joined Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, a jihadist group with ties to al-Qaeda.

is-scholar-bilal-al-shuwash
Chris Tomson | AMN

The report correlates with recent statements by Sheikh Abdallah Muhammad al-Muhaysini, the leading Jaysh al-Fateh spokesperson, which indicate that hundreds of ISIS fighters are defecting back to Syrian rebel ranks due to the caliphate continuously losing territory.

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ALSO READ  Syrian Air Force begins striking northeastern Idlib
Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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