The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is dreaming to establish an “Islamic Emirate” in the Northern parts of Syria, local sources said.
The ISIL intends to seize Qameshli after its capture of Mourkadeh to annex them to the regions already under its control in Reqqa and Aleppo countryside, a local source told FNA, elaborating on the terrorist group’s plan.
The ISIL is now in control of vast areas in border regions with Iraq in Hasaka, Reqqa and parts of Aleppo countryside.
Earlier this month, activists said that the ISIL pulled out of two provinces in the country’s Northwest and headed to its Eastern strongholds after months of clashes with rival militant groups.
ISIL militants and competing insurgents have been fighting since the start of the year, killing over 3,000 people.
On Friday, ISIL – which alienated many militants by seizing territory and killing rival commanders – finished withdrawing from the Idlib and Lattakia provinces and moved its forces toward the Eastern Reqqa province and the Eastern outskirts of the Northern city of Aleppo.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said the withdrawal was overseen by the Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda’s acknowledged branch in Syria, making the two provinces “completely free” of ISIL militants.
“There’s been an uneasy calm on all sides” since the withdrawal of ISIL militants, one activist from Idlib province said.
The Observatory’s director Rami Abdulrahman said ISIL had been weakened by clashes and defections in the areas it had withdrawn from, but still had some control over Reqqa province.
A video posted online on Friday showed two militants touring what they said were abandoned buildings that had been used by ISIL as a court and a prison in a town in the Jebel al-Akrad region.
The militant groups’ infighting has nevertheless further complicated a war that has killed over 140,000 people and forced millions to flee their homes. The war enters its fourth year this month.