In a message released on Feb. 5, al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri harshly criticizes the jihadists in Syria. He says they are engaged in a misguided “competition” for “imagined authority” over territory that is under the oversight “of secular Turkish checkpoints.”
Abu Hammam al-Shami and Dr. Sami al-Uraydi have rejected a proposal that they say would create a new military council in northern Syria under the leadership of an Assad regime dissident. The proposal was allegedly put forth by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham’s leaders, whom al-Shami and al-Uraydi have quarreled with in the past.
Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a US and UN-designated terrorist organization, has strengthened its grip on northwestern Syria in recent weeks. HTS has seized ground from rival insurgents.
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), the most powerful jihadist organization in Idlib province, has finally issued a statement addressing the agreement reached between Turkey and Russia last month. HTS vows to continue waging jihad, and warns that it doesn’t trust Russia’s “intentions,” but does not directly repudiate the Sochi accord.
Lars Hauch conducted an online interview with a fighter who migrated from Iran to Syria and joined Harakat Muhajirin Ahl Sunnat Iran, an Iranian battalion in Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). HTS is a large Sunni jihadist group that is opposed to the Assad regime and its Iranian-backed allies.
Despite official Lebanese claims to the contrary, the photos recently released by Hezbollah offer more evidence of how its forces coordinated with the Lebanese military in last year’s battle near Arsal.
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.