Did You Know
Did You Know
Syrian rebel groups have united around the militants formerly known as the Nusra Front after they split from al Qaeda.
In the first interview he has given to British television, one of the key leaders inside Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (or JFS) told Sky News: "We're stronger together than we are apart and it's as simple as that."
By severing ties with al Qaeda, JFS created conditions which allowed the dozens of disparate rebel groups in Syria (excluding Islamic State) to work together.
It has had a startling and immediate effect on the battlefield, leading to the breaking of the siege of Aleppo.
Omran Daqneesh, a Syrian child injured in an airstrike in Aleppo
Sheikh Mostafa Mahamed, who spoke to Sky News from Aleppo, may well become one of the most powerful weapons deployed by JFS.
He is English-speaking, in his mid-thirties, highly educated and has a keen sense of how the West thinks, feels and reacts having spent many years being educated in Sydney, Australia.
He has been given the job of communicating and dealing with foreign media and has the title of director within JFS.
The fact that he has been given this role - and that JFS is beginning to talk to the wider media - seems an indication they have accepted that acknowledging the Western media may well be necessary in this war.
Despite cutting its ties with al Qaeda, the US Government in particular seems to be resistant to engaging with them and has already said the group's renaming is a simple rebranding with the same extremist ideology and agenda.
In fact its leadership and top tier has remained exactly the same since its renaming last month.
But the Sheikh dismissed the split from al Qaeda as anything other than sincere.
His answer underlines the practicalities now being deployed by the group.
"It's certainly not something temporary," he said.
"It's a necessary step forward in order to achieve the very much needed reunification of ranks in Syria and one of the core reasons of Jabhat al Nusra initially was disbanded and we created then JFS, was to remove any potential obstacles that may impede the success of a merger - like unnecessary affiliations."
He believes their approach is in line with what most of the population's desires too.
He said: "It's very clear here that by extension they're (Western governments) trying to infer that our ideology is completely alien to the general masses of the Syrian population and we totally reject that.
"If Western governments are expecting us to come out and say we want liberal, Western democracy, secular democracy, they have to understand that as a Muslim society our core beliefs and values define all spheres of our life.
"They shape our identity. They set a system of governance that will remove oppression and establish a system that will see justice for everyone."
And that means introducing Sharia law which JFS insists has got "negative" connotations in the West.
The Sheikh is said to have a strong passion for education and "re-education" (as described to me by one close to him), which could explain why he has taken on the task of informing Western media.
He has two MA's in education as well as secular sciences.
Little is known about his family but he appears passionate on attempting to raise awareness about what is going on in Syria.
He is said to be frustrated at the focus on the siege of Aleppo when a number of other towns and cities are also suffering.
But he gave an illuminating insight into the co-ordination behind the breaking of the Aleppo siege and the involvement of JFS.
"Aleppo is the biggest city in Syria," he said.
"Al Assad and his allies cut off 300,000 civilians from the only supply route that would allow humanitarian aid.
"This was the most high-level co-ordinated collaboration between all of the Syrian major players on the ground.
"Thousands of soldiers, the most experienced military commanders, all logistic efforts came together in order to foil the attempts of these four horsemen of the Syrian apocalypse - the Assad regime, Russia, Iran and the militia of Hezbollah.
"Our role was integral in all fields especially the planning and execution of military operations.
"For example, the highly fortified artillery academy: that was seized by our amazing heroic special forces.
"And I say amazingly heroic because these men dived head first into the heart of the enemy camp facing almost certain death and then they started to fight their way out from inside in order to open a way in for reinforcements in order to complete the mission.
"This couldn't have been done without them."
The collaboration of the different groups may prove to be a significant turning point in Syria's protracted war.
But so far the breaking of the Aleppo siege has triggered even more ferocious attacks from President Bashar al Assad's regime, with hundreds of rocket and airstrikes being reported as the government troops along with their allies try to wrestle back control of the city.