Syrian Islamist Rebels Fight One Another Near Damascus, 40 Killed

Turkey-Backed Rebels Fight Saudi-Backed Factions

As the Syrian Civil War drags on and more and more distinct factions get involved, rebels are increasingly finding themselves fighting rival rebel blocs,, with less time to spare to fight the Syrian government itself. That was true again today in Qabun, just east of the capital of Damascus.

This time, the rebel-on-rebel fighting pitting the Saudi-backed Islamist faction Jaish al-Islam against a coalition of rivals including both al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front and the Faylaq al-Rahman, another Islamist faction, this time backed by Turkey and Qatar. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 40 fighters killed and 70 wounded in the clashes.

As usual, both sides blamed the other for starting the fight, with the Saudi-backed faction claiming they were sending reinforcement to their front with the Syrian military at Qabun but they kept getting attacked by other rebels along the way. The Faylaq al-Rahman insisted the other side fired first.

Turkey-backed rebels have generally worked closely with al-Qaeda forces in the nation’s north, and while Turkey has denied any direct ties, this has fueled accusations that al-Qaeda themselves amount to a Turkish-backed rebel faction.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of

  • Chris

    Remind us again, Jason, which faction is the Pentagon’s and which belongs to the CIA? ISIS belongs to the Israelis, right?

    • Neuromancer

      I doubt if even the Pentagon or the CIA can keep them straight.

    • outer_rl

      Let’s have a go figuring it out… The Pentagon supports the communist SDF, the CIA supports the moderate cannibal FSA, Saudi Arabia supports the hardcore jihadi Jaish al-Islam, Turkey supports the al-Qaeda aligned Nusra militia, and Israel supports ISIS.

      Liberté, égalité, fraternité! Vive la révolution!

  • unam_sanctum

    This is about 6 miles outside the city. Seriously, if this type of thing keeps happening, Putin’s going to have to make a decision about sending in some Russian troops to really clean the place up in style. Iran is not going to let Syria fall either. US and Israel better back down. Putin can already neutralize Israeli nukes. Bibi better behave or get crushed.