"We're ready to work with whichever group takes up arms against al-Assad"
The al-Nusra Front emerged in the Aleppo region about four months ago, when we were fighting in the city itself. Because they called themselves jihadists, at the start we avoided contact with them. We didn’t want our cause mixed up with theirs.But after having waited, in vain, for support from the Arab and international communities, we became ready to work with whichever group took up arms against al-Assad."Some say they’re foreigners, but most of them are Syrians who belong to an Islamist movement"Since then, we’ve collaborated regularly with these fighters against al-Assad’s army to free the city of Aleppo. [Editor’s note: This appears to have been the case in the recent operation to take control of the army base Sheikh Suleiman, near Aleppo. According to a local activist, al-Nusra Front fighters launched the attack against army troops, supported by fighters from the Free Syrian Army, who provided anti-aircraft cover].Many people say they’re all foreign jihadists. I myself have fought with them recently and it’s true there are Iraqis and Kuwaitis amongst them. There was even a German who’d converted to Islam. But most of them are Syrians who belong to an Islamist movement.The al-Nusra Front is an independent group; it’s not under the command of the Free Syrian Army. There isn’t a common command, there’s simply coordination between the al-Nusra Front and most Free Syrian Army brigades in Aleppo.