Hurras al Din, an al Qaeda group in Syria, has claimed responsibility for a bus explosion in Damascus. The Syrian state-controlled media says the explosion was caused by a “short circuit” near the bus’s fuel tank.
On March 19, Turkey’s defense ministry announced the death of two Turkish soldiers at the hands of “radical elements” in northwest Syria’s Idlib. The attack highlights Ankara’s challenges in the Syrian province.
The U.S. State Department has offered rewards of up to $5 million each for information concerning three al Qaeda leaders in Syria. All three have been involved in the heated disagreements over jihadi strategy and leadership in the Levant.
Abu Khallad al-Muhandis, an al Qaeda veteran, was reportedly killed in a mysterious explosion in Idlib, Syria earlier today. Muhandis’s jihadi career covered Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. He was also detained inside Iran for a time.
The Guardians of Religion organization has praised recent operations conducted by the Taliban and Shabaab.
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 report by the United Nations includes new details concerning the dispute between Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and al Qaeda’s senior leaders, including the role played by two veteran operatives living in Iran. The UN’s member states say that HTS is still in “contact” with al Qaeda’s leadership despite their heated disagreements, and that al Qaeda has even reinforced HTS with “military and explosives experts” sent from Afghanistan.