When al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front attacked a rival rebel faction in Idlib, a collection of moderate Islamist rebels united to resist Nusra. Within days, Nusra had amassed its own alliance, the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, and the two alliances were quickly fighting one another.
With that fighting having mostly subsided, the Nusra-led coalition is now looking to move on elsewhere, saying they intend to escalate their number of attacks on Syrian military targets, and Shi’ite militias, around the outskirts of the Idlib Province.
Nusra’s fighting against the other rebels was centered around peace talks and an ongoing ceasefire with the Syrian government, accusing those rebels of being part of a “conspiracy” against them, and having sidelined them to at least some extent, the focus was inevitably going to fall back on the military, who had expelled them from Aleppo.
The Nusra-led alliance controls most of the Idlib Province, and has broad ambitions, saying they intend to “liberate” the entire country. While this is unlikely, the group is likely to try to make inroads back into Aleppo Province, and into Hama Province to the south.