MESOP Syria Daily: Fighting Between Jabhat al-Nusra & Rebels in Northwest

by Scott Lucas eaworldview – 13March 2016 – In the latest sign of tension between rebels and Jabhat al-Nusra, the jihadists have reportedly attacked Free Syrian Army units in Idlib Province in northwest Syria.Activists said Jabhat al-Nusra and its ally Jund al-Aqsa launched the raids on Saturday in several locations in southern Idlib, following an attack on cars with Free Syrian Army officials.There are unconfirmed reports of casualties on both sides.

Fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra have tried on the past two Fridays to disrupt renewed opposition protests in northwest Syria against the Assad regime.The opposition-rebel bloc has maintained political distance from Jabhat al-Nusra. Efforts in the past year to distance the jihadists from their links with Al Qa’eda have been unsuccessful.However, the groups have continued to co-operate on the battlefield against regime forces and foreign militias. Jabhat al-Nusra is not covered by the February 27 cessation of hostilities brokered by the US and Russia. Last week its fighters and Jund al-Aqsa attacked pro-Assad foreign militias on the front south of Aleppo city.

A demonstration on Saturday night in opposition-held Maarat al-Num’an against Jabhat al-Nusra: