The terrorist group fighting in Syria, Nusra Front, has withdrawn from frontline positions against its rival Takfiri group, ISIL (so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant), north of Aleppo.
Reuters news agency reported that the Nusra, al-Qaeda branch in Syria, ceded the positions to other allied militant groups, leaving an area of northern Syria where Turkey wants to establish a buffer zone.
Nusra Front militantsThe Nusra announced the withdrawal in a Sunday statement.
Earlier, a monitoring group said that ISIL terrorists were fighting Nusra and allied militant forces in northern Syria.
According to the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the terrorists were fighting over control of four villages in Aleppo province. They are located in a strategic location along the militants’ supply line from Turkey.
The UK-based opposition source said ISIL began its assault using two bombers on Saturday night. At least 10 terrorists and 18 militants were killed in the clashes.
Meanwhile in its Sunday statement, Nusra slammed Turkey over its joint plan with the United States against ISIL militants in the Syrian-Turkish border area, saying the aim was to serve “Turkey’s national security” rather than the fight against the Syrian government.
The Nusra Front, an enemy of ISIL, said participation in the campaign was forbidden.
It said the Turkish government and the US-led alliance against ISIL were seeking to direct the battle according to their interests and priorities, and said Syrian groups taking part were not doing so of their free will.
“Facing this current scene, our only option was to withdraw and leave our frontline positions (with ISIL) in the northern Aleppo countryside for any fighting faction in these areas to take over,” the Nusra Front said.
It added that the Nusra Front would maintain frontlines with ISIL in other areas including Hama province and the Qalamoun mountain range near the border with Lebanon.