TODAY’S MESOP WEST KURDISTAN INSIGHT : Islamist Rebel Groups Seize ISIL Aleppo Headquarters

Islamist rebel groups have reportedly overtaken the Aleppo headquarters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). According to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Islamist brigades captured the base, a former children’s hospital, in the Qadi Askar area, but it is unclear what happened to the hundreds of fighters that had been there.

On Tuesday the ISIL issued a message calling for its fighters to “crush” rival rebel groups. The leader of al Qaeda linked al-Nusra Front, which has participated in the recent clashes against ISIL in northern Syria, has called for a cease-fire between opposition factions. Abu Mohammed al-Jolani said, “The [Muslim] nation was shocked to hear of the internal infighting between jihadist factions in the past number of days,” though he said the infighting resulted from the “incorrect policies” of ISIL. Jolani proposed establishing an Islamic court to settle disputes among rebels, and called for fighters to unite against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Meanwhile, Syria has transferred its first batch of chemical weapons materials to a Danish ship in the northern Syrian port of Latakia. According to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), “It will remain at sea awaiting the arrival of additional priority chemical materials at the port” which will then be moved out for destruction.