On 19 December 2016, the jihadists of Ahrar al-Sham (Islamic Movement of the free people of Sham) — the leading group of “moderates” (read as: “moderately anti-imperialist”) — rejected merging with Fateh al-Sham (Front for the Conquest of Sham) during a meeting of their Council.

This Council convened just before East Aleppo was liberated which represents a major defeat for Ahrar al-Sham.

Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formally known as Al-Nusra, is the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda.

In the photo above, the two groups appear already very close: a white flag for Ahrar al-Sham, a black flag for Al-Qaeda.

After Turkey seems to have abandoned the objective of toppling the Arab Syrian Republic, different groups of jihadists are seeking out fresh sources of support and are turning towards Saudi Arabia.

Anoosha Boralessa