Rebel Groups in Deir El-Zor Seek Alliance, Avoid Infighting

New alliance tries to avoid fighting between ISIS and the Nusra Front

Main rebel groups in Deir Al-Zor on Sunday issued a statement pledging support for one another to avoid infighting and to operate under one command center to fight Bashar Assad's forces.


One media activist, who requested anonymity, told Zaman al-Wasl that rebel factions in Syria’s oil-rich city are facing increasing pressure from the Al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front to fight the State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).


“The new alliance may avoid ongoing fighting between ISIS and the Nusra Front,” the activist said.


More than 4,000 people, mostly fighters, have died in fighting between rebels and ISIS, since three massive rebel alliances, declared war against ISIS in January.


Deir El-Zor is considereda key conduit for ISIS to send weapons and fighters from Iraq into Syria.


Armed Islamist groups have become the most powerful force in the three-year-old uprising against President Bashar Assad, who has long portrayed himself as the defender of a secular order in Syria.


Syria's conflict, now in its fourth year, has killed more than 162,000 people, a third of them civilians, and caused millions to flee.


Translated and edited by the Syrian Observer


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