On February 8, the Combat Salvation Front and the 111th Regiment armed groups announced their defection from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) group, Jaysh al-Nasir, in a joint official statement, effectively putting an end to the US-backed group.
Jaysh al-Nasir was formed on October 24, 2015 by the Combat Salvation Front, the 111th Regiment and Sukur al-Ghab. The FSA group received support from the US and allied itself with the former branch of al-Qaeda in Syria, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), from day one.
Since 2015, the US-backed group had conducted dozens of attacks against the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and even Russian forces in Syria using weapons supplied by the US, for example Bulgarian-made Grad rockets and US-made TOW anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).
In their joint official statement, the Combat Salvation Front and the 111th Regiment accused the commander of Sukur al-Ghab, Major Mohammed Mansour, of violating the internal law of Jaysh al-Nasir and of unilateral decision-making. The two groups also said that each group will work on its own from now on and stressed that Maj. Mansour does not represent them any more.
Local sources believe that the disintegration of Jaysh al-Nasir was a result of financial problems. The US ended its financial support for the FSA in late 2017. Another reason is likely the major setbacks the FSA group suffered from lately in the southeastern Idlib countryside.
The disintegration of Jaysh al-Nasir will likely weaken the position of HTS in Idlib governorate as it was one ot its key allies. Moreover, an armed conflict between the Combat Salvation Front, the 111th Regiment and Sukur al-Ghab is highly possible. They may disagree over dividing the weapons that had supplied by the US.