Ahrar al-Sham pledges allegiance to Erdogan’s AK Party after failed coup

Published July 18th, 2016 - 04:00 GMT
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacts after attending the funeral of a victim of the coup attempt in Istanbul on July 17, 2016. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacts after attending the funeral of a victim of the coup attempt in Istanbul on July 17, 2016. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)

A militant group in Syria closely allied with Jabhat al-Nusra, and by extension al-Qaeda, pledged allegiance to Turkey's ruling AK Party after a coup attempt Friday failed to oust Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from power.

Ahrar al-Sham, which has been fighting against the Baathist government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria and seeks to establish a fundamentalist Islamic state in Syria, issued a statement on its official Twitter page proclaiming its support for Erdogan's government.

"God returned the authority to those who deserve it, and the great Turkish people proved to the world that they will not allow the military to rule again," the statement read.

"What happened is a great lesson for all Muslims around the world who called for freedom and justice, which is the essence of the Syrian revolution."

Ahrar al-Sham is one of the main opposition groups in Syria funded by Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Russia, Iran, the UAE, Egypt, and Syria have all designated Ahrar al-Sham a "terrorist" organization. The Syrian government regards most opposition groups currently fighting in the country as such. 

The coup attempt in Turkey has resulted in an ongoing "purge" of the military and other state institutions, with over 6,000 suspects taken into custody so far. 


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