Rebel Infighting Spreading to Southern Syria After Commander’s Kidnapping

Al-Qaeda Faction Plans to Try Secular Rebel in Rebel-Run Court

The northern and eastern portions of Syria are now battlefields on multiple fronts, with rebel factions fighting against one another non-stop, and this “war within a war” often becoming more severe than the civil war itself.

That situation seems set to spread to Syria’s southern front now as well, with soaring tension among rebel factions in Deraa, along the border with Jordan, after a weekend kidnapping by al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra of Ahmad Naameh, a top commander in the secular Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Tribal leaders in the area have been trying to negotiate his release, so far without success, and Nusra is said to be planning to try him in a rebel court for “crimes” committed prior to his defection from the military.

It is noteworthy both because rebel infighting has so far spared the Jordan border, from which the US is funneling weapons, but also because most previous infighting has seen Jabhat al-Nusra and the other factions fighting against al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), and this points to tension within that ramshackle alliance.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.