Al-Qaeda closer to declare its rule in Aleppo: report

Al-Qaeda closer to declare its rule in Aleppo: report
Tue Oct 1, 2013 20:33:26

Al-Qaeda is gaining more power in Syria’s Aleppo, recruiting more forces and even absorbing lawyers for imposing its rules while threatening neighboring countries to cooperate or suffer consequences.

Heavy clashes are underway in the volatile northern province of Aleppo, Where al-Qaeda’s Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS) has been gaining more ground.

A source from the Syrian opposition in Aleppo, was quoted by the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar that the nature of the war in Syria might soon change, with respect to latest gains by the ISIS, and it could turn into a “sectarian, takfiri battle”.

The source who was said to have spoken on condition on anonymity, also said that latest changes may cause an international consensus that would make the Syrian government crush its opponents.

“Significant numbers of Arab and foreign fighters are ditching al-Nusra Front and other radical groups to join ISIS, increasing its strength at the expense of other groups,” the paper quoted the source.

The source pointed out that there are deep concerns among opposition militants in the wake of the victories that ISIS now possesses the strongest factions in Aleppo and Idlib’s countryside.

A human rights activist in Aleppo said that ISIS has been trying to recruit lawyers and judges for its so called ‘Islamic Law Council’ as well.

The source said that masked lawyers affiliated with ISIS stand at the Bustan al-Qasr crossing to point out lawyers and judges for ISIS members.

The lawyers and judges are then questioned by ISIS and pressured to join the al-Qaeda affiliate as their own version of law judges since its current judges are seen as unqualified.

In the meantime, ISIS has threatened to launch a series of suicide attacks against Turkish government interests unless Turkey opens the Bab al-Hawa and Bab al-Salamah crossings, which Ankara closed down after ISIS seized control of the town of Azaz.

The threat, which came as a statement posted in al-Qaeda-linked online forums, gave Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government no later than Monday, October 7, to open the border crossings.

Addressing Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the statement hinted at ISIS’ responsibility for the bombings in Reyhanli and Bab al-Hawa and said suicide attacks will target government interests in Ankara and Istanbul.

Turkey has been one of the main supporters of groups of militants fighting to topple the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian air force continued to target weapons convoys coming from Turkey. Syrian warplanes also attacked convoys between al-Atarib and Orme al-Kubra, and between Orme al-Kubra and Qabtan al-Jabal.

In the far south of Ifrin, clashes continued between the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and ISIS in the vicinity of the village of Otma Jandaris in the province of Idlib.

Vast parts of Idlib are under the control of ISIS, which lost some of its outposts in the area after the death of its field commander Omar al-Chichani.

The YPG was able to advance and repel takfiri militants from Kurdish villages south of Ifrin, and then counter-attacked in Otma.

Residents of Aleppo have been suffering from a more than a year-long siege imposed by Saudi-backed militants.

With the ISIS gaining more power, people’s life condition is reported to be even harder than before.

Al-Qaeda militants are used to imposing their own version of law over the areas they hold, conducting filed trials, punishments and executions, most of them brutally implemented.

The war in Syria started in March 2011, when pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following intervention of western and regional states.

The foreign-backed Syrian opposition has been dismissing international efforts, mostly sponsored by Russia, to sit for talks to find a solution to the war that has already taken more than 100,000 lives.

They have been insisting that they will only take part in talks if there is a date set for Assad to leave office.

The opposition, however, has been suffering from deep divisions inside.

Their support to al-Qaeda-affiliated armed groups has also caused them to lose many of their supporters during the two and a half year war.


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