BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:35 A.M.) – A veteran Syrian jihadist battle group which has been absent from the front-line for most of 2017 has begun to send fighters and heavy weapons to Hama province in order to assist Al-Qaeda-affiliated militants battling it out with pro-government forces throughout the region.
According to opposition and pro-government sources, forces of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Ahrar al-Sham jihadist coalition (which operates across western Syria) have started to take up positions next to Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jahbat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda) in northeast Hama province.
The year of 2017 has seen considerable degree of infighting between Ahrar al-Sham and Ha’yat Tahrir al-sham throughout rebel-held northwest Syria. The inter-jihadist hostilities are linked to power relation disputes between militant groups in the region.
In any case, it appears that the two jihadist armed groups are putting aside their differences for the time being in order to repel a now two-moth long (and still ongoing) offensive by Syrian army-led forces across Hama which threatens to eject all militant factions from the province.
Earlier it was reported that another rebel group allied to Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham, Jaysh al-Izza, unleashed a hail of artillery fire on a key Russian base in Hama province.