Army of Islam Expels ISIS from Al Marj, Eastern Ghouta

Analyst say more defections are expected from Islamist groups to join the Islamic State

The Army of Islam, the main unit of the Islamic Front, on Tuesday expelled militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from the Marj suburbs in the Eastern Ghouta, a rebel source told Zaman al-Wasl.

 

The Army of Islam took control of Maydaa town, a powerful stronghold of ISIS in the embattled Ghouta, source said.

 

In a related development in Ghouta, two foreign fighters from the Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda-linked group, have pledged allegiance to ISIS, a day after their declaration of an Islamic "caliphate".

 

Abu Jaafar al-Muhajer amd Abu Muaz al-Iraqi defected on Monday from Nusra, as the latter is preparing an offensive on ISIS strongholds in Eastern Ghouta and southern suburbs of the Syria’s capital.

 

Analyst told Zaman al-Wasl that more defections are expected from Islamist groups to join the Islamic State, since "it represents Muslim’s dream of a renewed caliphate," according to the fighters’ allegations.

 

ISIS says it wants to erase national boundaries from the Mediterranean to the Gulf and return the region to a medieval-style caliphate.

 

Some analysts told Reuters the group is a credible threat to frontiers and is stirring regional violence, while others say it exaggerates its reach and support through sophisticated media campaigns.

 

The group renamed itself and proclaimed its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as "Caliph" – the head of the state – on Sunday.

 

It also called on factions worldwide to pledge their allegiance, in a direct challenge to regional leaders and to the central leadership of Al-Qaeda, which has disowned it.   

 

Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer

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