Some of the first jihadist-produced images from the newly-launched offensive in Aleppo were posted by Ansar al Din, an al Qaeda-affiliated organization. Ansar al Din is a member of the Ansar al Sharia coalition, which is one of the two alliances fighting against the Assad regime’s forces in the city. The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, and Ahrar al Sham, an al Qaeda-linked group, lead the Ansar al Sharia alliance.
Ansar al Din was formed in 2014 and its founding groups included the Jaish wal Muhajireen awl Ansar (JMA), Sham al Islam, Al Katibah al Khadra, and Fajr al Sham. The State Department added the JMA and Sham al Islam to the US government’s list of specially designated global terrorists in September 2014. A large contingent of jihadists from the Caucasus serve as JMA leaders and fighters. Sham al Islam is mainly comprised of fighters from North Africa and was founded by ex-Guantanamo detainees from Morocco. Saudis led Al Katibah al Khadra, before it was folded into the JMA.
Below are the first round of images posted by Ansar al Din on its official Twitter feed. The images are all marked with Ansar al Sharia’s logo in the top right hand corner, and Ansar al Din’s logo in the top left hand corner.
Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.