The resignation of an Aleppo rebel commander following popular protests represents “a good omen,” a citizen journalist told Syria Direct on Tuesday.
Madar Najar’s resignation after the protests is “a good omen, and I expect we will see more leaders resign after these protests,” said Rabia Muhammed, a citizen journalist from the Aleppo countryside.
Najar, the deputy commander of the Levant Front, announced his resignation via Twitter, citing “disorganization and neglect” on Aleppo’s frontlines, as protestors took to the streets in the Tel Rifaat and Al-Shaar neighborhoods of Aleppo.
Protesters said they are frustrated by recent rebel losses in and around the city that they believe were caused by rebel disunity, and called for rebel leaders to “close their ranks.”
The previous day, a group of opposition activists in Aleppo released a recorded statement on YouTube, blaming rebel factions for recent losses in Aleppo, demanding that they resign and the factions re-elect new and “competent” leadership, with a specified commander to oversee all factions.
“These protests were brought about by the recent [rebel] setbacks in Aleppo, and the attacks that the Islamic State and the regime have launched,” Shiham Arfad, one of the activists responsible for the video, told Syria Direct on Tuesday.
The Aleppo Conquest coalition was formed in April as a joint operations room for most rebel factions operating in Aleppo, but has not significantly expanded rebel control in the province since then. The Islamic State, however, is now making advances in Aleppo.
– Photo caption of Tall Refaat