MARCH FOR NUSRA: Protestors took to the streets across Idlib and Aleppo provinces on Thursday condemning the US-led coalition airstrikes on al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat a-Nusra, which killed 50 fighters on Monday night and Tuesday, according to the pro-opposition monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Jabhat a-Nusra entered Idlib province in mid-2012, and gradually came to control a narrow strip of land bordering Turkey.
In the picture above on the left, a protestor can be seen holding a sign that reads, “Jabhat a-Nusra came to our aid when the entire world abandoned us,” while another sign on the right says “we are all Jabhat a-Nusra.”
The photos depicting what appears to be a large pro-Nusra rally contradict reports from Hani Hala, an activist from Idlib and correspondent with the pro-opposition Sham News Network, who told Syria Direct Thursday “the largest [pro-Nusra] rally that occurred in Idlib province didn’t include more than 30 people,” adding that “the rally was organized by Nusra.”
Jabhat a-Nusra generally takes a far less active role than its rival the Islamic State in regulating the day-to-day activities of those living under its control. However, approximately one month ago, some brigades in Idlib province implemented smoking bans and imposed modest Islamic dress codes.
Despite these new regulations, Hala reported, “they [still] don’t provide any [services] to civilians.”