Syria Deeply quotes Rafik Hariri Center Resident Fellow Faysal Itani on the role of the organization Jabhat al-Nusra in the Syria conflict with international attention focused on the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham: 

Syria Deeply: How is the ground situation changing to the south of Damascus?

Faysal Itani: It’s an interesting dynamic, very different from what’s happening in the north. Southern insurgent groups are trying to advance the front up to the southwest approach into Damascus. Whether or not this is coordinated with the new pressures that Nusra and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are currently putting on Hama, I don’t know. But it’s strategically valuable in and of itself because it reopens what became a stagnant front in the areas southwest of Damascus.

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