Posts Tagged ‘Tahrir al-Sham’

Syria: Jihadists Launch Big Attack on Syrian Government Near Hama — While Russia tries to hold ceasefires

September 19, 2017

BEIRUT — Insurgent groups launched a big attack on government-held areas in northwestern Syria on Tuesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and a media outlet run by the Lebanese group Hezbollah reported.

The attack north of Hama city spearheaded by jihadist groups marks the biggest offensive in that area since March, and underlines the complications facing Russian-led diplomatic efforts to preserve ceasefires in western Syria.

Several groups participated in the well-planned attack on government-held villages, the Observatory said, including Tahrir al-Sham — an alliance of Islamist groups spearheaded by the jihadist group formerly known as the Nusra Front.

The Hezbollah-run military news outlet said the army and its allies were repelling what it described as a large-scale attack in the area by the Nusra Front and factions affiliated to it.

The Observatory said warplanes were carrying out air strikes in the area and fierce clashes were underway. Insurgents had launched heavy bombardments of government-held positions, it said.

The insurgents taking part in the assault included the jihadist group the Turkistan Islamic Party and a group fighting under the banner of the Free Syrian Army, the Observatory said

Insurgents advanced within a few kilometers (miles) of the government-held city of Hama earlier this year, before the Syrian army and its allies retook the territory in April.

The northern Hama area is adjacent to the rebel-held province of Idlib, which is largely controlled by Nusra.

Ceasefires in western Syria — for years the main theater of the Syrian civil war — have helped the Syrian army and its allies advance against Islamic State in the east, where government forces are battling the group at Deir al-Zor.

Last week, Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed at talks in Kazakhstan to post observers on the edge of “a de-escalation zone” in Idlib region. The Nusra Front denounced ceasefire talks in Kazakhstan, and vowed to keep fighting.

(Reporting by Sarah Dadouch; Editing by Tom Perry and Catherine Evans)

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Saudi Commander of Tahrir Al-Sham Assassinated in Idlib

September 14, 2017

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FARS News

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).

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960622001317

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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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tahrir_al-Sham

Islamist Insurgents Clash Across Syria’s Idlib

July 19, 2017

BEIRUT — Clashes between rival insurgent groups broke out in Syria’s Idlib region in some of the heaviest fighting between Islamist factions which hold sway in the northwestern province, war monitors reported on Wednesday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Hayat Tahrir al-Sham – a jihadist alliance that includes al Qaeda’s former Syria branch – had attacked positions of Ahrar al-Sham, a more moderate rival Islamist group allied with mainstream rebel factions.

The clashes began late on Tuesday, the British-based Observatory said and an online statement from Ahrar al-Sham blamed Tahrir al-Sham for starting the violence.

The two sides clashed earlier this year in a long-standing fight for influence in Idlib, where insurgents maintain a stronghold even as much of the rest of western Syria has been recaptured by government forces and their allies.

Fighting had on Wednesday spread to areas across Idlib, including the town of Saraqeb in the east, Dana and Sarmada in the northeast and Bab al-Hawa near the Turkish border, the Observatory reported.

Several fighters and at least two civilians had been killed, it said.

Idlib province is dominated mainly by Islamist groups although the moderate Western-vetted Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups have a presence there.

The province, which borders Turkey, has long witnessed infighting between the main jihadist groups vying for power.

Although opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s rule, insurgents are riven by deep divisions on ideology and rivalry that erupts occasionally in deadly clashes. Rebels including Ahrar al-Sham say it takes the focus away from the fight against Damascus and weakens insurgents.

Ahrar al-Sham has sided with FSA groups in the fight with Tahrir al-Sham which was formed in January from a merger of several Islamist factions and Syria’s former al Qaeda affiliate, known as the Nusra Front until it cut ties with al Qaeda last year.

(Reporting by John Davison; Editing by Richard Balmforth)