Al-Qaeda Captures 32 Syrian Soldiers Near Aleppo

Ceasefire Efforts Complicated by Latest Push

Rebel mouthpiece the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is reporting that 32 Syrian soldiers were captured in the fighting over the village of Ratyan, on the outskirts of the city of Aleppo.

They didn’t identify who captured the soldiers, but al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra was the rebel force that retook Ratyan, and confirmed capturing “almost 40” soldiers in the siege.

Though other rebel factions are also active across Aleppo Province, Nusra is the strongest of the bunch, with ISIS holding some territory in the far east and moderate factions holding a few strips of land inside the city itself. The military holds a large portion of the city and surrounding area.

The latest al-Qaeda offensive is likely to snarl UN efforts to get a humanitarian ceasefire in place in the city of Aleppo. The Assad government has expressed support for the idea, but so long as al-Qaeda is holding territory so close to the city, it’s likely to be difficult to get everyone on board.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.