Jund al Aqsa, an al Qaeda front group, claims to have seized all or parts of Morek, a key town that sits on a major highway connecting Aleppo and Hama. In October, Jund al Aqsa broke with the Jaysh al Fateh coalition, which was co-founded by Al Nusrah Front, but the organization remains loyal to al Qaeda.
The Al Nusrah Front, Ahrar al Sham, Jund al Aqsa, and the Turkistan Islamic Party have launched significant operations targeting two Shiite villages in the Idlib province of Syria. Their attacks are a response to the siege of Zabadani, a southern Syrian city, by Bashar al Assad’s regime and its allies.
Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, claims to have overrun the Abu Duhour airbase in Idlib. Al Nusrah also says that more than 100 of Bashar al Assad’s fighters were killed and an additional 60 or so captured during the fighting.
The Jaysh al Fateh alliance claims to have captured several villages in the Al Ghab plain in recent days.
Said Arif, an al Qaeda veteran, has reportedly been killed in an airstrike in Syria. Jihadists on social media have identified Arif as a senior figure in Jund al Aqsa, an al Qaeda front group.
With victory over Assad’s forces at the military camp, the al Qaeda-led coalition continues to overrun regime positions in Idlib province.
In a tweet last month, Jund al Aqsa, an al Qaeda-linked jihadist group in Syria, identified Adel Radi Saker al Wahabi al Harbi as its fallen military commander. Al Harbi was wanted by the US government, had previously served as the deputy leader of al Qaeda’s Iran network, and was a member of al Qaeda’s so-called “Khorasan Group.”
The Jaysh al Fateh coalition has captured the city of Idlib, or much of it. Propaganda photos posted online show jihadist groups, including the Al Nusrah Front, controlling government buildings and key facilities.