Skip to main content

Jabhat al-Nusra tank commander sees little alternative to group

While Aleppo is not entirely under the control of Jabhat al-Nusra, the group has a strong presence in many of the city's neighborhoods and is currently fighting to take hold of villages north of Aleppo province, where they are facing Lebanese Hezbollah troops that are fighting alongside the Syrian regime.
Members of al Qaeda's Nusra Front gesture as they drive in a convoy touring villages, which they said they have seized control of from Syrian rebel factions, in the southern countryside of Idlib, December 2, 2014. Picture taken December 2, 2014. 

ALEPPO, Syria — Khaled was a theater student in Damascus prior to working as a disc jockey and then joining the rebel group Jaish al-Mujahideen. He is now fighting in the ranks of the local al-Qaeda affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra.

"Jaish [al-Mujahideen] wasn’t strong enough. [Jabhat al-] Nusra is more powerful, and that’s what we need right now," the 25-year-old in a brand-name jacket and glasses, camouflage trousers and black combat boots told Al-Monitor in the opposition-held part of Syria’s former industrial capital and largest city.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.