Abu Jaber has released his first speech as the general commander of the newly formed Ha’yat Tahrir al Sham (“Assembly for the Liberation of Syria”). He calls on other factions to join his group, promises to wage jihad on Bashar al Assad’s regime until the end and claims that losing the war would be catastrophic for Syria’s Sunnis.
In a video recorded prior to his death, a jihadist known as Abu Hafs al Masri explained that he served al Qaeda for 17 years and had lived with Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders. Al Masri was a senior leader in Ahrar al Sham in Syria when he was “martyred” in late March.
The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, has released a statement honoring the Ahrar al Sham leaders killed in yesterday’s explosion. Al Nusrah says they were among the “best” of men and leaders.
Several influential al Qaeda members have used their Twitter feeds to mourn the slain leaders of Ahrar al Sham and the Islamic Front. The jihadists were killed in an explosion earlier today. One well-connected jihadist, who appears to be an al Qaeda media operative, claimed that the head of the Islamic Front had been in communication with Ayman al Zawahiri.
The Islamic Front announced today that more than one dozen of its senior leaders were killed in a car bombing in Idlib. Among the slain leaders is Hassan Abboud, who was the leader of Ahrar al Sham and the head of the Islamic Front’s political office. Abboud was especially close to Ayman al Zawahiri’s representative in Syria.