Saturday, 4 February 2017
Anti-Nusra Front demo in Idlib ‘start of new revolution’
'In spite of the military battles, every Friday residents in Idlib come together to protest peacefully against the Syrian regime to reignite the spirit of the 2011 revolution.
But this Friday was quite different. Activists and local residents of the rebel-held city chanted the same hymns they usually do, but instead of Assad, substituted “Goddamn you, Jolani” referring to Mohamad al-Jolani, head of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham formerly known as the al-Nusra Front.
Al-Dana, Maeret Noaman and other towns filled with hundreds of people who defied the al-Nusra Front.
Since 2011, every Friday protest across Syria was organized under a united theme, but yesterday’s title was, ‘No room for al-Qaeda in Syria’.
Activist and aid worker Khaled Salame told Al Arabiya English that this the beginning of a new revolution in Syria.
“The people are ready to revolt against anything that stands in the face of their freedom.”
He said these past days brought him back to 2011.
“The banners of al-Qaeda have fallen, and the Syrian revolution flag has risen once again,” he said.
“I said this two years ago, the way to liberating Damascus is through defeating the extremists,” Salame added.
The activist said they have not only fought Assad militias, but also Hezbollah, Iraqi militias, Iran, Russia, ISIS, and al-Qaeda; referring to them all as one.
“They are all one entity, fighting in different ways.”
Recent heavy clashes between al-Qaeda’s former Syria branch and Syrian rebels took place last Friday.
The clashes took place in west of Idlib near Aleppo and the Turkish border, and the south.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, both groups used “heavy weaponry,” and many casualties were reported.
Militant group Ahrar al-Sham sided with Free Syrian Army groups, and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham refused to reconcile after they had targeted a rebel faction.'