Syria’s Nusra Front Declares ‘Emirate’ in Aleppo

Move Aims to Rival ISIS Declaration of Caliphate

by Jason Ditz, July 13, 2014

The Islamic State (TIS), the ISIS-declared caliphate spanning both Iraq and Syria territory, has a new rival in the Aleppo Province of northern Syria, as Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s wing in the nation, has declared the region an Islamic Emirate.

TIS borders are nebulous and growing, while the Nusra Emirate appears to aim for control just of Aleppo’s immediate vicinity, with the hopes of forming other emirates elsewhere across the region.

That sets them up as a rival of ISIS, but also one with a different approach, as the ISIS caliphate has designs on spanning the whole Muslim world, as a top-down organization run by Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, whereas the assorted emirates would simply be united under al-Qaeda’s interpretation of Shariah law.

Nusra’s ability to set up an emirate with significant territory remains to be seen, as they have largely not fared well in combat with ISIS, who has taken the lion’s share of territory across Syria.

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