Rebel fighters stand outside Idlib museum in Idlib city, after Islamist rebel fighters took control of the area April 1, 2015. (Reuters)
The Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front indicated on Wednesday that a Syrian city captured from the government in recent days would be ruled according to Islamic sharia law but the group would not seek to monopolize power there.
Nusra Front’s leader, Abu Mohamad al-Golani, also said residents of the northwestern city of Idlib would be treated well by his fighters and other Islamist factions that captured it on Saturday.
“We salute the people of Idlib and their stand with their sons, the Mujahideen, … and God willing they will enjoy the justice of sharia, which will preserve their religion and their blood,” Golani said in an audio recording posted on Nusra Front-affiliated online media.
The capture of Idlib marked only the second time since the start of the Syrian conflict that the government had lost control of a provincial capital. The first was Raqqa, which the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group has turned into its de facto capital.
Nusra Front, which has fought ISIS, and other groups including the hardline Ahrar al-Sham took control of Idlib, 30 km from the Turkish border, after four days of fighting with government forces…