Two of Syria’s key Islamist groups, Ahrar al-Sham and Soqour al-Sham, merged on Sunday, according to a video statement posted online.
The new faction will go by the name of the ‘Battalion of Soqour al-Sham’, said Hashem al-Sheikh, leader of Ahrar al-Sham. Sheikh assured the move was based on the ‘aspirations of the Syrian people’ after the Syrian revolution recently entered its fifth year.
The two groups, who are active in the provinces of Aleppo and Idleb, formed part of the Islamic Front alliance, whose founding was announced in November 2013.
On September 9 2014, a suicide attack on an Ahrar al-Sham meeting in Idleb killed the group’s leader, Hassan Abboud, along with 27 other senior commanders; including military field commanders, members of the group's Shura council, and leaders of allied brigades.