In October, a new military operations room, named “Incite the Believers,” began attacking Assad regime positions in a number of locations. The joint venture is comprised of at least three groups: “Guardians of Religion,” Ansar al-Din and Ansar al-Islam.
A small Turkish-speaking jihadist faction known as Fursan al-Iman took part in a joint raid against the Assad regime in Latakia province on July 10. Yesterday, it posted a picture of an Assad loyalist who was captured during the operation. It appears from the group’s social media pages that Fursan al-Iman has been operating in and around the Jabal al-Turkman region since January 2018.
Ansar al-Islam raided an Assad regime military position in the Latakia province yesterday, killing more than two dozen Assad loyalists. The attack was widely celebrated on Sunni jihadist social media channels. Ansar al-Islam is a small jihadist group that originated in Iraq, but has fought in Syria for years.
Al Qaeda’s rebranded guerrilla army in Syria is fighting alongside other jihadists, Islamists and Free Syrian Army-branded rebels in an offensive intended to break the Assad regime’s siege of Aleppo. Most of the participating groups belong to two coalitions: Jaysh al Fath (“Army of Conquest”) and Fatah Halab (“Aleppo Conquest”). These same two alliances tried and failed to break the siege earlier this year.
More than 20 jihadist, Islamist and other rebel organizations took part in the offensive to break the siege of Aleppo. It was likely one of the largest combined efforts in the history of the Syrian war.
The Uzbek Imam Bukhari Jamaat joins several other jihadist groups and rebel factions in the battle for the Aleppo neighborhood of Sheikh Maqsud.
Despite being forced largely underground in Iraq, Ansar al Islam continues to operate in Syria against regime and now Kurdish forces.
The cover story of the Islamic State’s recently released issue of Dabiq, an English-language magazine, is written by an alleged al Qaeda defector known as Abu Jarir ash-Shamali. The group has been trying to win over al Qaeda’s and the Taliban’s supporters, but Shamali’s piece criticizes Osama bin Laden’s jihadist legacy and the Taliban. Shamali also provides new details about how al Qaeda is currently structured.