The Jaish Halab (Army of Aleppo) coalition was announced on 01 December 2016 which saw Western deemed moderate and fundamentalist Islamic groups in Aleppo officially merge under one banner as announced by FSA media arm the RFS Media Office (Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office).
- RFS Media Office article (01 Dec 2016) – Factions in Aleppo announce forming the “Unified Army of Aleppo”:
‘All opposition factions, active in the besieged neighborhoods of Aleppo city, announced merge under one commandership, forming one faction called “The Army of Aleppo”.’
The formation is also identified (number 9) in the following Institute for the Study of War map under the heading Syria Situation Report: November 19 – December 2, 2016:
Fundamentalist Islamic groups:
- Ahrar al Sham (Part of and co-founder of the fundamentalist Islamic coalitions Jaish al Fatah/Army of Conquest and the Islamic Front)
- Jaish al Islam/Army of Islam (Part of the fundamentalist Islamic coalition the Islamic Front)
- Jabhat Fatah al Sham (Former Jabhat al Nusra, part of and co-founder of the fundamentalist Islamic coalition Jaish al Fatah/Army of Conquest)
Jabhat Fatah al Sham may not be shown on the infographic below but the group is present in East Aleppo among the opposition, as evidenced by an official Jabhat Fatah al Sham statement released on the 14 December 2016 reporting the execution of an SVBIED (Suicide Vehicle Born IED) attack.
- TerrorMonitor tweet of JFS statement (14 Dec 2016):
Western deemed moderate groups:
- 1st Regiment
- Mujahideen Army
- Sham Legion (Part of the fundamentalist Islamic coalition Jaish al Fatah/Army of Conquest)
- Nour al Din al Zenki Movement (Part of the fundamentalist Islamic coalition Jaish al Fatah/Army of Conquest)
- Division 16
- Sham Front/Levantine Front
- Sultan Murad Division
- Al-Safwa Islamic Battalions
Infographic below shows groups that currently make up the Jaish Halab coalition.
Despite claims that this formation of Western deemed moderate and fundamentalist Islamic groups is out of necessity, this is a false assertion. As proven many times previously on The WIDER View, close co-operation on the battlefield between Western deemed moderate and fundamentalist Islamic groups has occurred on many occasions throughout the Syrian conflict.
Indeed, most of the groups shown above in the infographic labelled as FSA forces have already worked and coordinated with fundamentalist Islamic groups during the Syrian conflict. Previous examples of such co-operation can be seen in the following links:
1st Coastal Division, 2nd Coastal Division, 10th Coastal Division:
- Final report on Mount Zahiya (Bright tower) assault by Western deemed moderate and fundamentalist Islamic groups, Latakia, Syria:
Nour al Din al Zenki, Sultan Murad Brigade, Central Division, Army of the Mujahideen, Liwa’ Suqour al Jabal, Kata’ib Thuwar al Sham, Islamic Freedom Brigade, Fastaqim Kama Umirt Union:
- Western deemed moderate groups assisted fundamentalist Islamic groups in assault of Khan Tuman, South Aleppo, Syria:
- Western deemed moderate group Division 16 assisted Jabhat al Nusrah in assault on Paschkoa / Baskhuy, North Aleppo, Syria:
1st Coastal Division, Central Division:
- Western deemed moderate groups 1st Coastal Division & the Central Division working with Jabhat al Nusrah & Ahrar al Sham, Lattakia, Syria:
FSA (Western deemed moderate) groups, some shown in the infographic above, and fundamentalist Islamic groups in Aleppo offensives:
- Western deemed moderate and fundamentalist Islamic opposition groups working together in new Aleppo offensive, Syria:
- Renewed assault to ‘break the siege’ of Aleppo being undertaken again by joint force of Western deemed moderate and fundamentalist Islamic groups:
The shift to blatant, overt co-ordination and co-operation has taken place during 2016, particularly following al Qaeda in Syria’s Jabhat al Nusrah group name change to Jabhat Fatah al Sham. This change was an attempt to shake its perceived al Qaeda affiliation and further unify opposition groups under its powerful and influential Jaish al Fatah (Army of Conquest) coalition, co-led by the equally powerful and influential group Ahrar al Sham.