Al-Qaeda Leads Offensive Against Northwest Syrian City of Idlib

Issues Joint Statement With 'Moderate' Islamists Vowing City's Capture

Al-Qaeda’s Syrian faction, Jabhat al-Nusra, is looking to make a huge strategic gain today, as it has announced a full-scale offensive against the northwestern city of Idlib, along the important Aleppo-Damascus highway.

Idlib has been contested a few times over the past several years, but is under military control right now. Some rebel factions control the surrounding area, however.

And al-Qaeda isn’t going to be attacking alone, as “moderate” Islamist faction Ahrar al-Sham has jointly signed the statement, saying they will accompany al-Qaeda on the attack.

Syrian state media hasn’t discussed the offensive against the city, but did confirm some fighting along the outskirts, in the Idlib Province.

Nusra has gained considerable territory in the northwest of Syria in recent months, first targeting US allied rebel factions and now moving against government territory.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.