The U.S. backed “moderate” rebel groups have reportedly lost a key ally from their anti-government alliance that includes many Al-Qaeda linked factions; this abrupt news comes just two days after the coalition of Islamist rebel militias “Jaysh Al-Fateh” (Army of Conquest) announced its second phase of the large-scale Hama Governorate offensive.
According to the Twitter account of the Al-Aan TV journalist – Jenan Moussa – Jund Al-Aqsa (offshoot of Jabhat Al-Nusra) has pulled out of Jaysh Al-Fateh in protest of the coalition’s recent statements that included their willingness to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS).
While this Islamist group has not released an official statement regarding this rumor; if true, this will be a blow to the Jaysh Al-Fateh alliance in northern Syria, as Jund Al-Aqsa has participated in many battles, including the capture of Idlib City, Jisr Al-Shughour, Ariha, Al-Mastouma, and the Abu Dhuhour Military Airport.
In addition to their participation in the battle for the Idlib Governorate, Jund Al-Aqsa also plays an integral role in the battle for the provincial capital of the Aleppo Governorate; this Jihadist group has been known to carry out many operations with the Free Syrian Army and Jabhat Al-Shamiyah (Levantine Front) inside of Aleppo City.
The Free Syrian Army’s U.S. manufactured anti-tank TOW missiles have been given by the latter to Al-Qaeda linked groups inside the Hama, Idlib, and Aleppo Governorates of northern Syria – among those groups seen with these weapons are Jund Al-Aqsa.