The media department of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda franchise) has released footage of its fighters combating Islamic State militants at Jabal al-Afa’i, a mountain in the Eastern Qalamoun region, northeast of Damascus.
Jabhat Fateh al-Sham fights against ISIS alongside Ahrar al-Sham and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) affiliated Ahmad al-Abdo Brigade; meanwhile, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is standing idle by while the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) carries out daily airstrikes on ISIS militants in the region, indirectly supporting the aforementioned Syrian rebel groups.
Eastern Qalamoun represents the only region in Syria with a somewhat pragmatic alliance between Islamist rebels and the SAA, two otherwise staunch opponents.
For instance, when ISIS downed a SyAAF jet two days ago and the pilot subsequently parachuted onto rebel-held territory, he was returned by Syrian rebels to a nearby SAA checkpoint by the following day.
Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, Ahrar al-Sham and the FSA now control some 70% of Jabal al-Afa’i after gradually advancing on ISIS in the past few days.