Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start ‘shooting the birds’

The time is fast approaching for “shooting the birds”, a phrase now much in use in parts of northern Syria, bringing with it a chilling warning of a new wave of lethal violence about to be unleashed in the country’s savage civil war.

Fighters, including a fresh influx of foreign jihadists, have been seen gathering in bases across the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo. They pledge allegiance to Khorasan, an al-Qaeda branch which was supposedly crippled by American bombing in one of the first days of the air campaign launched against Isis.