Insurgent factions in Syria have joined together to fight off an assault by a powerful jihadist group which launched an attack on rebels this week. Several militias formed an alliance with key Islamist group Ahrar al-Sham amid some of the worst inter-factional clashes in recent times.
Jabhat Fateh al-Sham has accused the rebels of conspiring against it at peace talks in Kazakhstan this week. The group was excluded from a ceasefire declared across Syria in December.
Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS), known as al-Nusra Front until it broke off formal ties with al-Qaeda last July, is considered a terrorist group by the powers backing the ceasefire. It is strongest in Idlib province, in north-western Syria, where it has previously fought alongside Ahrar al-Sham against pro-Syrian forces(BBC,2017)