US-Backed Syrian Rebels Kill 38 Troops in Aleppo Tunnel Bomb

Massive Explosion Destroyed Building Full of Troops

by Jason Ditz, July 22, 2016

A Thursday incident in the government-held half of Aleppo has left at least 38 soldiers dead, as rebel faction Thuwar al-Sham claimed responsibility for a massive explosion that destroyed a building full of the soldiers.

The attack appears to have been a case of undermining, as Thuwar al-Sham released a video showing their forces tunneling under the site of the attack and packing the tunnel under the building with a large amount of explosives. The group is on a list of “CIA vetted” rebels eligible to receive US weapons.

Thuwar al-Sham had merged with the Shamiya Front earlier this year to try to fight against al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front as it attempted to advance into Aleppo from Idlib. That advance has largely been successful at this point, and the rebels instead seem to have shifted their focus to fighting the government again.

At present, the city of Aleppo is split roughly in half between the government and Nusra, though Nusra’s half has had its lone supply road cut off by a military offensive. The province also has several other rebel factions, including the Kurdish YPG and ISIS, and Thuwar al-Sham obviously wants to remind everyone they are still in the mix.

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