Syrian insurgent group says loyal to Nusra
John Davison, Reuters, Oct 9 2016
Jund al-Aqsa on Sunday pledged allegiance to Nusra, a statement circulated by rebel officials and reported by SOHR said. Jund al-Aqsa said it was trying to settle differences with Ahrar al-Sham, with which it has been fighting for days in the north-western Idlib province. SOHR, which also reported Jund al-Aqsa’s announcement, said the group was seeking the protection of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham. Jund al-Aqsa’s statement, circulated by rebel officials from other groups and carrying the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham stamp, did not say how pledging allegiance to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham would mend its relationship with Ahrar al-Sham. The SOHR said the two rebel groups were still fighting late into Sunday evening. The move appears to formalize Jund al-Aqsa’s ties with Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, which changed its name in July and said it was breaking from AQ. Jund al-Aqsa, which is on the State Dept’s list of terrorist groups, has been heavily involved in fighting in the west and north of Syria including around Aleppo in the most recent months. Nusra’s breaking of ties with AQ appeared aimed at assuaging Syrians who had misgivings about its links with foreign Jihadis. AQ leader Ayman al-Zawahiri said at the time that the split would help unite Syrian insurgents.
This is what Murid said the previous day:
El Murid, Oct 9 2016
Russia is expected to block the French draft UNSCR on Aleppo. The resolution envisaged two conditions unacceptable to the Kremlin: a ceasefire and the introduction of a no-fly zone. The West, naturally, was displeased. The permanent representative of the UK stated that the war in Syria can be stopped only by a change of Moscow’s policy, which indirectly blamed the Kremlin for the absence of a peaceful solution to the problem. He also accused Russia of abuse of power in the UNSC. However, strictly legally speaking, the West cannot do anything. The militants will promptly settle the conflict between Jund al-Aqsa and Ahrar al-Sham. Most of the “moderates” supported Ahrar and accused Jund al-Aqsa that her actions play into the hands of Daesh. Aqsa, in fact, declared a general Takfir, and now to survive, its fighters would have to join Daesh.
Support for Jund al-Aqsa is low, mostly groups of people from Russia (in particular, the Caucasus). Most likely, they will all have to move to the territory of Daesh and take an oath to al-Baghdadi. The number of al-Aqsa is not too large: about 2,500 people, plus her allied groups of about a thousand. Loss for “moderate” not too big, although the fighting capability of al-Aqsa is above average.