Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria captures rebel leaders

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Fighters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in southern Syria. File photo: AL

ARA News

Urfa, Turkey− On saturday, Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda-affiliated Syrian group, arrested the airman captain Aysar al-Khatba, the leader of the Revolution Balance brigade, Khaled al-Shar’a Abo Walid, the leader of Prince Hamad battalion, and Mowafaq al-Itayli, the leader of Ansar al-Sunnah battalion, in an ambush on the Old Customs checkpoint, west of Nasib in Dara’a province, south of Syria.

According to the aviator major, Wael Swidan, the deputy leader of the Revolution Balance brigade, the detention of the three mentioned figures came after two days following the constitution of “Southern Syria Revolutionists’ Front” in the western environs of Dara’a. Thirty-six brigades established this Front; the Revolution Balance brigade was among them.

Talking to ARA News on the phone, Swidan stated: “Jabhat al-Nusra group considered the constitution of Southern Syria Front meant to fight them, so it accused the Front’s leader, Captain Ahmad al-No’ama, and all the factions of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Military Council of betrayal as well as working for some international actors.”

“Militants of Jabht al-Nusra sprung an ambush to Ahmad al-Noa’ma and some other leaders in the Free Syrian Army and arrested them. Still the fate of some leaders is unknown,” Swidan told ARA News

In his appeal to Jabht al-Nusra to release his colleagues, Swidan clarified that the “Southern Front is a moderate entity” and deals respectfully and amicably with al-Nusra saying, “We consider them our brothers and FSA supporters, and we did not have any previous clashes or disputes with them before.”

“We believe in pluralism and we accept other parties; the sole enemies we have are the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Assad regime,” Swidan said. 

Jabht al-Nusra is one of the Islamic “Jihadi” factions that fight in Syria against the Syrian regime and its militants are directly affiliated with al-Qaeda.

Reporting by: Redwan Bizar 

Source: ARA News

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