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Resilient insurgent group Ahrar al-Sham to play bigger role in Syria

“When an explosion killed almost all of its leaders in a single blow last year, many thought it was the end for Ahrar al-Sham, a powerful Syrian insurgent group founded by members loyal to al Qaeda. But the group immediately re-emerged stronger. It replaced its leader and chose new military commanders. A few months later, it joined a coalition of insurgent groups that seized the city of Idlib with at least 2,000 fighters, making it the most influential group in the Fatah Army (Army of Conquest), which includes al Qaeda’s Syria wing, the Nusra Front. The group now has even loftier ambitions.”
“With strong backing from Syria’s neighbor Turkey, Ahrar al-Sham (the Free Men of Syria) is playing a significant role in Syria’s four year old civil war – if not the biggest among insurgent group apart from Islamic State. Its fighters control Bab al-Hawa, the only legal crossing between Turkey and Syria’s rebel-held areas, and are powerful around Aleppo and Idlib.”
“The emergence of strong rebel groups such as Ahrar al-Sham which have political representation as well as military strength could help address a long-standing criticism of the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad: the disconnect between the constellation of armed groups in Syria and the Turkey-based political coalition that does not speak for any of them.” (Coordination Center)

http://news.yahoo.com/resilient-insurgent-group-ahrar-al-sham-play-bigger-060714276.html

A rebel fighter from the Ahrar al-Sham Islamic Movement covers his ear as he moves with  fellow fighters during what they said were clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, in al-Kafir area at the southern entrance of the town of Jisr al-Shughour, in the province of Idlib in Idlib province May 12, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

A rebel fighter from the Ahrar al-Sham Islamic Movement covers his ear as he moves with fellow fighters during what they said were clashes with forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, in al-Kafir area at the southern entrance of the town of Jisr al-Shughour, in the province of Idlib in Idlib province May 12, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

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