Posts Tagged ‘Jund al-Aqsa’

Saudi Commander of Tahrir Al-Sham Assassinated in Idlib

September 14, 2017



Saudi Commander of Tahrir Al-Sham Assassinated in Idlib

TEHRAN (FNA)- A Saudi commander of Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) was assassinated in the Eastern parts of Idlib province.

News websites affiliated to the terrorists reported that Abu Mohammad al-Share’i was killed by unknown assailants in Saraqib city in Eastern Idlib.

Image result for Abu Mohammad al-Share'i, photos

They added that he was formerly a commander of Jund al-Aqsa terrorist group.

Relevant reports said on Tuesday that Abdullah Muhammad al-Muhaysini, the commander and Mufti (religious leader) of Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at has left the terrorist group only hours after leaked audio files indicated widening of rifts among the commanders of the Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at or the Levant Liberation Board), reports said.

Al-Muhaysini together with another mufti of Tahrir al-Sham named Mosleh al-Aliyani in a statement released on social networks on Monday declared their separation from the terrorist alliance, the Arabic-language media reported.

Al-Muhaysini and al-Aliyani mentioned the reason behind their separation as to be recent clashes between Tahrir al-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham in Idlib province and also leakage of the audio files and disrespecting the religious leaders (muftis).

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Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (Arabicهيئة تحرير الشام‎‎, transliterationHayʼat Taḥrīr al-Shām,[21] “Organization for the Liberation of the Levant” or “Levant Liberation Committee“),[19][20] commonly referred to as Tahrir al-Sham and abbreviated HTS, is an active Salafist jihadist militant group involved in the Syrian Civil War. The group was formed on 28 January 2017 as a merger between Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly al-Nusra Front), the Ansar al-Din FrontJaysh al-SunnaLiwa al-Haqq, and the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement.[2] After the announcement, additional groups and individuals joined. The merger is currently led by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and former Ahrar al-Sham leaders, although the High Command consists of leaders from other groups.[22][23] Many groups and individuals defected from Ahrar al-Sham, representing their more conservative and Salafist elements. Currently, a number of analysts and media outlets still continue to refer to this group by its previous names, al-Nusra Front, or Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.[24][25]

Despite the merger, Tahrir al-Sham has been accused to be working as al-Qaeda‘s Syrian branch on a covert level.[26][27] However, Tahrir al-Sham has officially denied being part of al-Qaeda and said in a statement that the group is “fully independent and doesn’t represent any foreign body or organization”.[28] Furthermore, some factions such as Nour al-Din al-Zenki, which was part of the merger, were once supported by the US.[29] Some analysts reported that the goal of forming Tahrir al-Sham was to unite all groups with al-Qaeda’s extreme ideology under one banner, and to obtain as many weapons as possible. They also reported that many of the former Jabhat Fateh al-Sham fighters still answered to al-Qaeda, and held an increasing amount of sway over the new group.[11] It has also been claimed that despite the recent formation of Tahrir al-Sham, the new group secretly maintains a fundamental link to al-Qaeda, and that many of the group’s senior figures, particularly Abu Jaber, held similarly extreme views.[26][better source needed] Russia claims that Tahrir al-Sham shares al-Nusra Front’s goal of turning Syria into an Islamic emirate run by al-Qaeda.


Tangled Alliances in Syria

April 8, 2017

The Wall Street Journal

This is well worth seeing:

Rebel groups in Syria | From most to least radical

1. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil): International jihadists, use extreme violence as propaganda in support of their transnational “caliphate”.

2. Jund al-Aqsa: Split off from Jabhat al-Nusra (see 3) owing to latter’s opposition to Isil, with which al-Aqsa has declared neutrality.

3. Jabhat Fateh al-Sham: (formerly al-Nusra Front) Initially set up as a Syrian branch of al-Qaeda. It split from al-Qaeda in 2016 and forms alliances with other Islamist rebel groups against the Assad regime.

4. Ahrar al-Sham: Salafi Islamist jihadist group that says it is focused on Syria and has no international goal. Counted al-Qaeda-linked militants among founding members but has links to Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar.

5. Jaysh al-Islam: Salafi Islamist rebel group backed by Saudi Arabia. Works with other rebel groups but is accused by some of abusing human rights in areas it controls.

6. Jabhat al-Islamiyya (Islamic Front): Alliance of the above two and a score of other Islamist groups.

7. Jabhat al-Shammiya (Levant Front): Another alliance of Islamist rebel groups, particularly in northern Syria.

8. Southern Front: Alliance of non-jihadist Islamist groups, typically backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, and secular rebel groups.

9. YPG: Syrian Kurdish militia with links to the Marxist Kurdish People’s Party (PKK) in Turkey. The group has also past alliances with the Free Syrian Army (see 10)

10. Free Syrian Army: An umbrella group of rebels. The name is used to refer to a collection of secular rebel divisions, some US-backed, originally set up by regime army defectors..



How many countries (directly or indirectly) are involved in the Syrian war?
By John Hamzawsky — Worked in the Middle East in the field of education for over 16 years

Iran: wants to change the demographic structure of Syria and replace the majority Sunni by Shi’ite from Iran, Lebanon, and Iraq.

Russia: wants an air base, a naval base, and domination over the politics of Syria. Supports the demographic changes.

The US: wants to secure a balanced situation where the Russians won’t get too much of the Syrian pie, with no clear further calculations for the military circumstances of the Russian presence. Willing to secure Israeli interest in keeping Assad, so has to cooperate with Russia for “fighting terrorism”.

Lebanese militia of Hezbollah, act as commanded by Iran.


Fighters of Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, honor a comrade killed during combat in Syria.
Fighters of Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, honor a comrade killed during combat in Syria. PHOTO: MAHMOUD ZAYYAT/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

Iraqi Shi’ite militia, act as commanded by Iran.

Turkey: wants to secure the limitation of Kurdish domination over the smallest area possible, yet preventing the rise of a Kurdish state.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar: willing to limit the Iranian ambition in controlling the strip from Iran all the way to the Mediterranean, threatening the regimes of the oil countries in the Persian gulf area.

Plus air force other forms of contribution in fighting ISIS by The United States, France, Germany, Britain, Italy, Australia and the Netherlands who all made the promise to participate in that fight. The total number of the western countries that are either participating or potential participant in the fight against ISIS in Syria and Iraq is 62 countries.

Syria itself is obviously a major participant in the war, but in the form of government exterminating the Sunni minority, or forcing it to move out of the “Useful Syria”, the Sunni forces backed by Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

ISIS has troops from Syria, Russia, Afghanistan, and many other TWC’s, seemingly wanting to establish a Muslim state. ISIS actions lead to believe there are other countries backing it, particularly the Syrian regime and Iran.

Al-Qaida Seizes Weapons, Bases From US-Backed Syrian Rebels

March 14, 2016

MARCH 13, 2016, 12:30 P.M. E.D.T.

BEIRUT — Al-Qaida militants swept through a rebel-held town in northern Syria in a display of dominance Sunday, arresting U.S.-backed fighters and looting weapons stores belonging to the Free Syrian Army.

The militants belonging to the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front along with allied jihadists have been moving to exert their authority over rebel-held areas in Idlib province since a partial ceasefire to the country’s five-year conflict took effect two weeks ago, extinguishing patriotic demonstrations and sidelining nationalist militias.

The FSA’s 13th Division said on Twitter Sunday that Nusra fighters were going door to door in the town of Maarat Numan and arresting its cadres after Nusra, alongside fighters from the Jund al-Aqsa faction, seized Division 13 posts the night before.

Seven Division 13 fighters died in the clashes.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, said Nusra seized anti-tank missiles, armored vehicles, a tank, and other arms from the division, which has received weapons, training, and money from the U.S. government. It said Nusra and Jund al-Aqsa detained 40 fighters from the division.

Maarat Numan had a prewar population approaching 60,000 and saw some of the liveliest demonstrations calling for President Bashar Assad’s fall in rebel-held areas over the last two weeks as the partial ceasefire brokered by the United States and Russia brought relative peace to many beleaguered areas.

But jihadist militants have repeatedly tried to suppress the demonstrations in Idlib province, where they maintain a strong presence. The challenges have threatened to fracture the array of forces allied to prevent Syrian government forces from retaking north Syria.

The Nusra Front and Jund al-Aqsa suppressed a demonstration in Idlib city last week, arresting several demonstrators and allegedly replacing the tricolored flag of the Syrian uprising with the black flag of the al-Qaida movement, according to opposition accounts. Another hard-line Jihadist group, Ahrar al-Sham, sided publicly with the demonstrators in a carefully worded statement that did not name any responsible parties.

Nusra supporters stormed another demonstration in Maarat Numan Friday, again carrying black banners, but were drowned out by the protesters. Rumors circulated Saturday that Division 13, which maintained a presence in the town, then tried to push Nusra out. By Sunday morning, it was clear that Nusra had overpowered their rivals, instead.

The Nusra Front arrested U.S.-supplied fighters belonging to FSA’s 30th division last summer and seized their weapons in a major embarrassment to the U.S. government’s train-and-equip program which was meant to support carefully vetted “moderate” rebels.


 (Jeffrey Goldberg’s analysis published in The Atlantic magazine)