Residents of the rebel-held suburbs of Beit Sahm and Babila south of Damascus have demanded the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front to leave their towns, condemning the group’s abuse and repression, activists said Friday.
More than 1,500 people gathered last Friday to demonstrate against the Nusra Front and its members’ practices, where pushing and shoving between protesters and the Front’s members quickly escalated into a firefight leaving four civilians dead.
The Nusra Front is on high alert following news the Free Syrian Army will close passage to Beit Sahm and Babila to prevent any support entering the two towns. Further bloody clashes are expected in the towns as tension rises, with suggestions ISIS might interfere to support the Nusra Front.
The Nusra Front considered the demonstration part of reconciliation plan between the Syrian regime and sheikhs to expel the Front from Beith Sahm, due to the town’s strategic position near the main route to Damascus Airport.
The Front has issued a statement threatening that any attack against its headquarters in the town will not be tolerated.