DAMASCUS, SYRIA (4:00 A.M.) – On Saturday, the renown Abu Omarah Regiment announced it would merge with Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), an Al-Qaeda affiliated group known to be the largest insurgent faction in Syria.
The Abu Omarah Regiment – a prominent faction in the Fatah Halab operations room – rose to fame in the battle for Aleppo which nevertheless culminated in the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) taking full control of the city in December, 2016.
With the remnants of the Islamist group evacuated to the western Aleppo countryside, a few hundred fighters were on the verge of disbanding but have now decided to join HTS instead of leaving the battlefield.
The Abu Omarah Regiment was accused by Amnesty International of conducting war crimes on the Kurdish-held Sheikh Maqsoud district last year, including a chemical attack and indiscriminate shelling.
With more and more jihadist factions joining what was previously known as the Al-Nusra Front, HTS now boasts a fighting force of some 50,000 militants.