3 min read  | Aleppo, Interviews, Politics

Nusra supporter in Aleppo: ‘They are fighting for what’s right’


March 2, 2015

March 2, 2015

Harakat Hazm announced Sunday it will disband and incorporate its fighters into the Sham Front coalition, according to a statement bearing the group’s official letterhead circulating on social media.

The announcement comes after the two groups traded mutual accusations of sowing conflict between rebels, sabotaging supply lines, and capturing and executing each other’s soldiers in the western Aleppo countryside.

The accusations led to armed conflict on Friday, when Nusra assaulted Hazm’s headquarters of Fauj 46 and other locations, killing more than 50 fighters and forcing the rest to retreat to the city of Atarib, reported London-based al-Arabi al-Jadeed.

Whereas various civilian and revolutionary bodies came forward during the infighting calling for a ceasefire and re-direction of attention towards fighting the regime, some seem pleased with Nusra’s declaration of war, and the apparent liquidation of Hazm.

“Harakat Hazm undertook acts that harmed the revolution, such as kidnapping mujahideen and killing them,” Muhammed Abu Ibrahim, a civilian and Nusra supporter from the northern Aleppo countryside, tells Syria Direct’s Batool Hajjar.

While Hazm fighters were corrupt, Nusra focused on “raising the new generation on the Sunna and Quran and fighting those who spread corruption.”

Q: What’s your opinion of Jabhat a-Nusra and Harakat Hazm?

As for Nusra, its name describes the movement itself [nusra means aid, assistance]. Those who entered the battle in Syria [under Nusra’s banner] said, “By God, we didn’t come out to fight except to aid this religion and aid the people of a-Sham.”

Every Syrian knows what they’re like, that they are mujahideen fighting for what’s right, and that their first enemy is the regime and then those who are corrupting the revolution.

They don’t strive for anything else, like an Islamic emirate, as it has been rumored. But most civilians here actually do think they’re trying to accomplish that [i.e. an Islamic emirate].

Whereas Harakat Hazm undertook acts that harmed the revolution, such as kidnapping mujahideen and killing them. They did things similar to [Jamal] Maruf [leader of the Syrian Revolutionaries Front], like fighting a-Nusra and killing their leaders Abu Aisa a-Tabqa and Abu Malek, both known for their good behavior.

Add to that one of Harakat Hazm’s religious figures appearing in a video on the Internet saying that he is prepared to ally with Israel to fight those dogs of hell, “a-Nusra” [link to video here].

Q: How did Nusra and Harakat Hazm treat civilians in your area?

As far as civilians go, Hazm did not give them anything. Ask people about it.

Hazm was purely media-focused. If they wanted to launch a missile they would record it and say that they were opening up a new front and fighting the regime.

As for Nusra, they gave civilians a lot—courses in memorizing the Quran for children and old people, raising the new generation on the Sunna and Quran and fighting those who spread corruption.

They would also aid young Syrians crossing into Turkey for free, so that coyotes wouldn’t exploit them and steal their money.

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