In this follow-up to Inside the Battle: Al Nusra-Al Qaeda in Syria, VICE News filmmaker Medyan Dairieh gains exclusive access to al Nusra, the Syrian branch of al Qaeda, which is fighting against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, the Islamic State (IS) and Kurdish forces.
Allied with the Jaysh al Fatah (Army of Conquest) coalition, and in control of territories stretching across the Aleppo and Idlib provinces, Dairieh meets some of the highest-ranking members of al Nusra. Revealing their identities for the first time, they show how they are providing services to the people living under their rule, and how they join other groups in providing these services.
Spending nearly two months with al Nusra, and exploring their expanding territory, Dairieh meets its first military leader, who explains how al Nusra captured and controls its territories, as well as its military doctrine.
Observing daily life in Aleppo under the group, VICE News visits an al Nusra-run hospital, schools, a fuel market, a power station, a water supply system, prisons, courts, bakeries, and also learns about the surprising ties between communities controlled by al Nusra and the Syrian regime.