Agence France-Presse quotes Rafik Hariri Center Nonresident Fellow Aaron Stein on the decision of al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate al-Nusra to withdraw from the fight against ISIS, in light of the US-Turkish efforts to create an ISIS-free zone on the Syrian border:

Aaron Stein, a non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council research institute, said Al-Nusra’s withdrawal could make it easier for Washington to work with ground forces in the would-be IS-free zone.

“The way I’m looking at it is Turkey influenced Ahrar al-Sham, which put pressure on Al-Nusra… to remove itself from the areas proposed in the buffer zone,” Stein told AFP.

The Al-Nusra withdrawal makes it “more palatable for the US to give more support to rebel groups there,” he added.

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