The BBC said that there are believed to be as many as 1,000 armed opposition groups in Syria, commanding an estimated 100,000 fighters. I wonder how any western leader could have decided who to back in the fight against Assad? They certainly did have good intelligence or good guessing about this group.
Ten months ago among the numerous descriptions in the guide was ISIS or ISIL.
The creation of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in April 2013 was rejected by the al-Nusra Front. ISI's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, known as Abu Dua, nevertheless pressed ahead with expanding its operations into Syria. In August 2013, US intelligence assessed that he was based in Syria and commanded as many 5,000 fighters, many of them foreign jihadists. The group is active mostly in northern and eastern provinces of Syria. It has assumed joint control of municipalities in Aleppo, Idlib and Raqqa provinces. Isis has taken part in a number of major rebel operations, including by carrying out suicide bombings that helped capture two military bases. But it has also had tense relationships with other rebel groups, including those considered Islamist. Its fighters reportedly recently killed a prominent member Ahrar al-Sham, and have clashed with those from Ahfad al-Rasoul in Raqqa and the Northern Storm Brigade in Azaz. They have also targeted Shia and Alawite civilians.