Rebel Factions Fighting One Another in Northwest Syria

Islamic Front Demands al-Qaeda Withdraw From Aleppo District

by Jason Ditz, January 03, 2014

The Syrian Civil War’s process of balkanization looks to be picking up steam today, as protesters aligned with some rebel factions protested against others, and open fighting erupted in Syria’s northwest.

Protesters aligned with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) echoed claims of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) being secretly aligned with the Assad government, and demanded that they withdraw from Syria entirely. The FSA is waning in combat power, but remains the largest secular rebel faction.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Front, which is establishing itself as a powerful Islamist bloc in the country, also took shots at AQI, demandintg they withdraw from a key Aleppo district that they believe is rightfully theirs.

The Assad government has secured much of southern Syria under their control, while the northeast is dominated by Kurdish militias. The northwest remains under the control of rebels, in general, but the fractured nature of the rebellion means these various groups will continue to contest internal control over “rebel Syria” with one another, even if the Assad government is unable to make inroads back into the north.

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