Urfa, Turkey− The General Command of al-Akrad Front −Kurdish group linked to the Free Syrian Army (FSA)− declared its willingness to join other rebel groups in the fight against the al-Qaeda affiliated group of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Syrian rebel forces launched an armed campaign against the ISIL. Since Thursday, different battalions of the opposition’s FSA and Islamisc forces −including Syrian Islamic Front and Jaish al-Mujahdeen− carried out operations against the strongholds of the ISIL in northern Syria.
The leadership of the al-Akrad Front declared its full readiness to support Syrian rebels in their fight against al-Qaeda-linked ISIL.
The ISIL group was described by the Front in a statement issued on Friday as the “enemy of the Syrian revolution”.
Al-Akrad Front’s General Command said that it has been fighting ISIL group over months in different areas in Syria’s north, but without declaring its anti-ISIL operations.
“All rebel forces are now united against al-Qaeda (ISIL), and we are a part of this war against this group which illustrated its hostility to the Syrian revolution,” the Front said.
The Syrian opposition emphasized last week that the ISIL group has strong ties with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, saying that ISIL’s fighters tried to take over “freed areas” in coordination with the Syrian regime.
Al-Akrad Front declared a similar attitude regarding ISIL.
“The way how the group behaved in the recent months confirm its organic links to the Assad regime. All their actions were against the people and the rebels, while they never intended to attack the regime-held areas,” the statement of al-Akrad Front read.
Syrian rebels demanded the ISIL fighters to either surrender or totally withdraw from Syria.
In the northern suburbs of Aleppo city, dozens of ISIL fighters have reportedly surrendered and handed over their weapons to the FSA forces. However, other affiliates of the ISIL group refused to withdraw and insisted to continue fighting against Syria rebels.
Dozens of fighters from both sides were reportedly killed during the clashes that took place in different regions north Syria.
Activists reported that the ISIL-Rebels clashes are still continuing.
According to observers, the current battles between Syria rebels and the al-Qaeda affiliate reflect a clear division between what they called “real rebels” and those serving the regime.
“Those battles negatively affect the discourse of the Assad regime which used to present the situation in Syria as a mere war between regime forces and terrorists of al-Qaeda. However, the world can now clearly see that there is a real revolution in Syria between rebels who demand freedom for the Syrian people and a tyrannical regime,” said an opposition activist. “Any group attempting to persecute the Syrians will be defeated. We fight the regime and al-Qaeda because we consider them alike.”
On Saturday, sources reported that the FSA rebels could take over the headquarters of ISIL group in the town of Tel Minnes near the city of Idlib, north Syria, after fierce clashes with ISIL fighters.
The ISIL leadership issued a statement on Sunday threatening the FSA rebels, saying that the group is capable of continue fighting until reaching “victory” against all of its opponents.
Reporting by: Ridwan Bizar. Contribution: Abdul Ilah Ibrahim
Source: ARA News
(Editing by: Adib Abdulmajid)
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