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Fateh al-Sham takes full control of Jaish al-Mujahideen bases

(Zaman Al Wasl)- Powerful Fateh a-Sham group has dismantled moderate rebel group from all weapons and took its bases in Aleppo in Idlib provinces after a a surprise attack sparked wide condemnation by rebels groups and residents.

Jaish al-Mujahideen fighters have withdrawn from all checkpoints and bastions to favor of Fateh al-Sham's control, senior commander told Zaman al-Wasl on Wednesday.

The heavy fighting erupted on Tuesday between
the previously known as the Nusra Front and Jaish al-Mujahideen.

The commander of the key FSA unit, told Reuters the "extremely fierce" Fateh al-Sham attack aimed to "eliminate the revolution and turn it black", a reference to the black flag flown by the jihadists in Syria.

Rebel groups fighting under the Free Syrian Army (FSA) banner, some of whom have representatives attended peace talks in Kazakhstan, accused Jabhat Fateh al-Sham of launching a surprise attack on their positions west of Aleppo.
FSA officials said the attack targeted FSA groups in areas west of Aleppo and the adjacent province of Idlib, which is controlled by an array of rebel factions, including Fateh al-Sham. One FSA commander said that in response "a comprehensive war" was now underway against Fateh al-Sham.

Long-standing tensions between Fateh al-Sham and more moderate rebels, a number of them backed by Turkey and other states that have opposed Assad, have surfaced again since government forces helped by Russian air power and Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias drove the rebels out of Aleppo last month.

Fateh al-Sham is not covered by a shaky truce between the government and rebels brokered by Russia and Turkey. The aim of the meeting in Astana, organized by Russia, Turkey and Iran, is to shore up the ceasefire that came into effect on Dec. 30.

Fateh al-Sham has a history of crushing FSA groups in the conflict that began in 2011. One of the single biggest groups in the insurgency, Fateh al-Sham has been targeted in a spate of U.S. air strikes in the northwest since the new year.

One of those strikes killed dozens of its fighters at a training camp in Idlib last week. The Pentagon said that attack was carried out by a B-52 bomber and killed more than 100 al Qaeda fighters.


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