Five Factions Join Tahrer al-Sham in Northern Syria

Key details:

01/02/2017 from Qatar/Turkey

Assessment:

The infighting between Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS) and Ahrar Al-Sham led to factions joining either one since they are the biggest factions in Syria. Most of the Tahrer Al-Sham factions were ones that did not participate in the Astana talks. The newly formed faction Tahrer al-Sham members included:

1)JFS,

2)Noor al-din Zinki,

3)Liwa al-Haq,

4)Jaish al-Sunna,

5)Jabhat Ansar al-Din.

The implications on why the factions did not participate in the Astana talks is most likely due to a failed sustainable ceasefire especially in Wadi Barada region, Idleb, and other regions under rebel factions’ territory. It is likely that the factions joining Ahrar al Sham will also form a faction in retaliation. Some of the factions that left Ahrar-al Sham to join Tahrer al-Sham were a part of Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield, possible implication on this is the factions that left want to re-organize their military strategies to focus on toppling the Syrian regime rather than fight ISIS as a priority in Al-Bab region (under ISIS control).

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