Two prominent jihadist ideologues, Sheikh Abdullah al-Muhaysini and Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, are engaged in a war of words over Erdoğan’s Turkey. The relationship between the jihadists in Syria and Turkey has long been a point of contention and the heated rhetoric reveals that it isn’t likely to subside soon.
The “Incite the Believers” operations room has called for an independent sharia court to settle the disputes between rival insurgents in Syria. “Incite the Believers” was established by the “Guardians of Religion” organization, Ansar al-Din Front, and Ansar al-Islam late last year.
Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS), a newly formed group that includes al Qaeda’s Syrian arm, launched a complex assault on the Assad regime’s security services in the city of Homs earlier today. A high-ranking military intelligence official was killed in the suicide raid.
Five groups, including al Qaeda’s rebranded branch, have announced the creation of a new group in Syria. The move comes after weeks of reported disagreements and clashes between the insurgents in northern Syria.
The US Treasury Department designated Dr. Abdallah Muhammad al Muhaysini and three other jihadists in Syria today. All four of them have worked for Al Nusrah Front, now known as Jabhat Fath al Sham (JFS), which is al Qaeda’s arm in Syria. Muhaysini claims to be an “independent” cleric, but Treasury says he is part of Al Nusrah’s “inner leadership circle.”
Jund al Aqsa has sworn allegiance to Jabhat Fath al Sham, al Qaeda’s rebranded branch in Syria. Jund al Aqsa itself is an al Qaeda front group. The move comes after weeks of infighting between Jund al Aqsa and other groups opposed to Bashar al Assad’s regime.
The Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) has released a series of photos documenting its “spoils” from a new round of fighting in Syria’s Aleppo province. Jaysh al Fath, an alliance of several groups, launched the offensive against Bashar al Assad’s regime and its allies earlier this week. The TIP is fighting alongside Al Nusrah Front, which is al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, and Jund al Aqsa, an al Qaeda front group.
Al Nusrah Front claims to have captured a small village near the Talat al-‘Iss hill in the Aleppo province. Three suicide bombers were used to pave the way for the jihadists. The battle is part of Al Nusrah’s attempt to regain in the initiative in the war against Bashar al Assad and his allies. A Syrian regime source has told the press that the hill is a strategic location.
New US sanctions on two Qatari citizens expose Doha’s uneven response.
Sixteen jihadists, including 11 from the Al Nusrah Front and Ahrar al Sham, have issued a statement on behalf of the “muhajireen” (foreign fighters) saying they will continue to fight the Islamic State throughout Syria.
The “Battle of Victory” coalition, which includes the Al Nusrah Front and several other jihadist groups, has declared victory in the city of Jisr Al Shughur. The battle for the city began several days ago and was the next step in the jihadists’ plans for conquering all of northwestern Syria. A highly influential al Qaeda-linked ideologue was reportedly wounded in the fighting.
Abu Muhammad al Julani, the leader of the Al Nusrah Front, said the jihadist coalition that took control of Idlib should remain united. He also stated that the jihadists should avoid “terrorizing” the people in order to build more popular support.
Jihadist ideologues, including several who have backed al Qaeda against the Islamic State, have proposed a truce between the rival factions in Syria. The initiative is similar to the calls made by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, both of which have urged the jihadists to unite against the “Crusader” West.