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Idlib protesters call for an end to Nusra-Hazm fighting


1 March 2015


ENEMY OF MY ENEMY IS MY ENEMY: In Kafr Nabul, a village in the Idlib countryside, locals protested the infighting between Jabhat a-Nusra and Harakat Hazm on Saturday. Above, residents hold a sign reading, “Fauj 46 [a Hazm headquarters captured by Nusra on Friday] isn’t the palace of the Assad family and it never will be. Oh ye who have lost your way, the palace is in Damascus.”

Residents want to see an end to infighting between rebel groups and would prefer to see them unite against the Assad regime, Raid al-Hamid, an activist who took part in the protest, told Syria Direct Sunday.

More than 100 fighters from both sides were killed in battles across the western Aleppo countryside, in which Jabhat a-Nusra took over Fauj 46, and Harakat Hazm withdrew to the town of al-Atarab, according to the pro-opposition al-Atarab Now news site.

“Harakat Hazm took advantage of the fact that the al-Jabha a-Shamiya and Jabhat a-Nusra were fighting the regime in the village of Baskuy in northern Aleppo, and opened up a front with Nusra in western Aleppo,” Hussein Khatab, a war photographer from northern Aleppo countryside, told Syria Direct.

The two groups have engaged in periodic clashes since October when Jabhat a-Nusra expelled the Syrian Revolutionaries Front (SRF), a Hazm ally, from Idlib. The most recent round of clashes took place on Friday after several days of threats and accusations were exchanged between the two groups, with both sides accusing the other of sowing discord among rebel ranks, disrupting supply lines and arresting each other’s fighters.

On Wednesday, Nusra accused Harakat Hazm of abducting five of its members, and killing three while in custody, including a Nusra emir, Abu Aisa al-Tabqa.

On March 1, a press statement allegedly released by Harakat Hazm announced the disbanding of the group, however Syria Direct could not independently confirm the authenticity of the statement. The group has previously denied the authenticity of press releases dealing with its recent confrontation with Nusra, including a statement reportedly released by al-Jabha a-Shamiya claiming that Hazm had abandoned the northern Aleppo front.

-March 1, 2015

-Photo courtesy of  al-Atarab Now

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