Syria militants demand aid to fight ISIL

Syria militants demand aid to fight ISIL
Thu Jul 3, 2014 12:22:33

Foreign-backed militants in the north and east of Syria have vowed to lay down their arms if they don’t receive help in infighting against Al-Qaeda splinter group the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

As an offensive by the leading extremist faction targets the militants in the Ghouta suburbs of Damascus, 11 militant groups that are active in the northern provinces of Aleppo and Raqqa issued a statement Wednesday in which they demanded help from the opposition-in-exile National Coalition and the so-called Free Syrian Army, among other groups.

They issued a one-week deadline for the help to arrive, threatening to throw down their weapons and pull out their militants if no assistance materializes.

The militant groups singled out recent military gains by ISIL in northern Aleppo province, calling them a threat to the other militants in Syria.

The groups include the Raqqa Rebel Brigade and the Kurdish Front, as well as smaller, local units from areas of Aleppo province such as the town of Manbij, which has recently come under ISIL control.

ISIL this month also spearheaded an offensive in Iraq, seizing wide swaths of territory as it teamed up with groups of Iraqi insurgents, and has begun to move captured weaponry and equipment into areas it controls in Syria.

In their statement, the rebel groups also addressed their plea to the so-called Islam Army, one of seven large militias making up the Islamic Front, which largely cooperates with mainstream militants from the FSA.

The Islam Army has launched its own drive to oust ISIL militants from the Ghouta suburbs of Damascus.

Its leader Zahran Alloush appeared in a video on YouTube Wednesday, exhorting his men against ISIL, which this week claimed a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Alloush said he and his comrades in the north had intercepted walkie-talkie conversations between ISIS militants, many of them non-Syrians, which demonstrated their ruthlessness and often utter disregard for civilians they encountered.


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