Nusra forces ‘commingled’ with Syrian rebels: US

WASHINGTON (AA) – Syria’s rebels are at times “commingled” with fighters from the country’s al-Qaeda affiliate, the White House said Thursday.

“There are situations where there are forces like Nusra, who are not part of the cessation of hostile[s], where their forces [are] commingled with forces that are” party to the agreement, spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.

“As with everything in Syria, it’s complicated,” he added.

According to the truce reached last February, all parties in Syria were to halt attacks. Daesh and al-Nusra were not party to the agreement and are actively excluded from its protections.

But fighting between government and rebel forces has swelled around Aleppo, Syria’s second city, in recent days and Nusra has remained active in the northwestern city.

At least 17 people were killed Wednesday when an airstrike hit a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo.

Approximately 200 civilians, including 50 women and children, have been killed in intense fighting between Syrian government forces and rebels around Aleppo in the past week, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Britain-based group uses an extensive network of on-the-ground sources to develop its figures.