The Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) in Afghanistan and Syria has long operated as part of the Taliban-al Qaeda axis. Earlier this year, however, the TIP’s Syrian branch sided with Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) during its battles with other rebel groups. This infighting and related events have complicated the picture with respect to the TIP in Syria. One TIP-affiliated outlet claimed earlier this year that the group’s senior management had sent new leadership from Afghanistan to Syria.
Katibat Imam al Bukhari (also known as the Imam Bukhari Jamaat), an Uzbek jihadist group that operates in Syria and Afghanistan, has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the US State Department today.
The video does not make clear where the ambush took place, but Katibat Imam al Bukhari has advertised its role fighting in the northern Afghan province of Faryab in the past.
Salahadin al Uzbeki, a veteran of the jihad in Afghanistan and leader of the Taliban-loyal Katibat Imam al Bukhari, has reportedly been assassinated by an “Islamic State infiltrator” in Idlib.
The Imam Bukhari Jamaat and the Islamic Jihad Union have claimed attacks in eastern and northern Afghanistan. Members of these two groups are also known to have operated in Syria.
Katibat Imam al Bukhari, which also operates in Syria alongside al Qaeda’s forces there, claims that four Afghan soldiers were killed in the attack.
The two Uzbek groups are fighting with the Jaysh al Fateh coalition as part of its renewed offensive in southern Aleppo.
The Uzbek Imam Bukhari Jamaat joins several other jihadist groups and rebel factions in the battle for the Aleppo neighborhood of Sheikh Maqsud.