The new front announced by five factions comes amid increased regime military pressure on Aleppo.
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Five powerful armed factions active in Aleppo have announced the latest bid at rebel unity, dubbing their effort the "Shamiah Front," as fears grow of a regime encirclement of the opposition-held parts of the northern city.Aron Lund, an independent researcher who has followed the Syrian war, said the new alliance emerged at a "dangerous time" for rebel groups in Aleppo, who face a concerted regime push to take areas north of the city and close off the last rebel supply line to Turkey.The Shamiah Front also excludes Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, the Nusra Front, which ejected FSA groups from Idlib province in November.Lund said the Shamiah Front came into existence as a "freeze" in regime-rebel fighting in Aleppo is being promoted by U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura.
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