Al-Qaeda Seizes More North Syria Villages, Nears Turkish Border

Turkish-backed rebels demand other rebels launch offensive on al-Qaeda too

Fighting in northern Syria rebel territory entered its second week, with al-Qaeda continuing to gain territory in Aleppo and Idlib Province. At least four more villages fell on Tuesday, and al-Qaeda is now nearing the Turkish border.

The fighting is centered on al-Qaeda and the Turkish rebel coalition that calls itself the National Army. National Army officials are urging the other rebels in Idlib to launch new attacks on al-Qaeda themselves to open up yet another front against them.

Evacuation deals across Syria ended with myriad rebel groups getting dropped off in Idlib, putting a lot of different factions in close proximity. Many of these groups ended up banding together under different umbrellas, but have fought off and on since.

Though Turkey’s faction appears to believe that the other “moderate” rebels will back them over al-Qaeda, it’s not clear that’s the case, and some may believe they’re better off staying out of the fight for awhile, hoping the other forces wear each other out.

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.