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.
The foreign fighters include one Canadian and three French-speaking militants. The latter bunch likely belong to Omar Diaby’s Firqatul Ghuraba, a French jihadist outfit in Syria.
The IJU is the second foreign jihadist group to highlight joint battlefield operations with the Afghan Taliban in recent weeks.
The camps were used by the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and other terrorist groups.
The footage of the convoy is undated, but it offers a good look into the Turkistan Islamic Party’s strength, size, and importance on the battlefield.
The suicide bombings show the Turkistan Islamic Party’s close battlefield integration with al Qaeda’s forces in Syria, as well as further highlighting its position within the overall al Qaeda network.
This marks at least the second time a French fighter has been killed alongside the Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria.