Al-Qaeda Declares War Against US-Armed Rebels in Northwest Syria

US-Backed Groups Continue to Lose Ground in Idlib

Al-Qaeda’s Syria faction, Jabhat al-Nusra, has declared “all-out war” against the Hazm Movement, one of the US-armed rebel factions affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Nusra has been targeting US-backed groups as a way of retaliating against US airstrikes in the nation which have targeted them, and they’ve routed the FSA forces out of almost all of the Idlib Province.

The Hazm Movement was the faction that became the first to publicly confirm receiving anti-tank missiles from the CIA, and has been closely affiliated to some Islamist groups, in addition to the FSA.

Nusra, by contrast, has been mostly independent in its operations in recent months, expanding its territory in the northwest, while also clashing with Hezbollah over territory in the Syrian portion of Golan.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.