A Syrian hard-line Islamic faction has expressed strong support for a U.S.-Turkish plan to set up a safe zone in northern Syria free of Islamic State.

The ultraconservative Ahrar al-Sham group says such a zone is “vital” and serves the interests of the Syrian people.

Tuesday’s statement suggests the powerful group is seeking to position itself as a main faction on the ground that could work with the U.S. and Turkey to carve out such an IS-free zone. […]