Reflecting the fading fortunes of thew rebels in eastern Aleppo in general and al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front in particular, the rebels have today announced the formation of a new alliance aimed at organizing their defense of what is left of the city.
The new rebel faction, calling itself the “Aleppo Army,” will be focused on shoring up their defenses after losing an estimated one third of their territory over the past weekend. The force will be led by the Levant Front, a Turkey-allied rebel group linked with the Free Syrian Army.
The rebel forces in Aleppo had long been presented as Nusra-dominated, and this might point to a shift in influence among factions within the city. The Levant Front’s leader has urged more foreign support for the fighting within Aleppo, with an eye toward making a comeback.
The fighting over the city of Aleppo has raged since 2012, with several factions coming and going, and no one getting seriously close to control of the city. The fight has centered on this rebel group and the government since early 2016, with both launching attacks and counterattacks. In recent weeks, the government’s forces have been at a significant advantage, gaining much of the city’s northeast.