Al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch, Jabhet Al-Nusra, has released on Sunday 7 members of the US-trained Division 30, including the group’s commander colonel Nadim al-Hassan, abducted last month in the Northern town of Azaz.
Division 30, trained and equipped by the US-led training program, crossed the Turkish borders into Syria last month and was deployed in the town of Azaz (nearly 32 km to the north of Aleppo).
Days after, the hardline militants of al-Nusra stormed the base, killing 5, wounding 18 and kidnapping several others. Those who survived the offensive fled back to Turkey.
In a statement released to justify the attack, al-Nusra said its militants attacked “US agents”, warning others against taking part in the “American Project”.
Division 30, a group of fighters deemed ‘moderate’ by the West, was meant to serve as the nucleus of a broader force capable of fighting the Islamic State (IS) in northern Syria. The move came under the agreement held recently between the US and Turkey to replace the ultra-hardline group (ISIS) along the Syrian borders with more moderate fighters.
According to Ammar Al-Waei, the spokesman of Division 30, it was the father of one of the detainees who communicated with al-Nusra and made a deal so that his son and other companions were released.