According to AMN, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham has created and headed a new armed coalition to the northwest of Idlib province in Syria, which is called ‘Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham’ (“Committee for the Liberation of the Levant”).
The new terrorist coalition includes the militants from the radical groups who are not involved into the general ceasefire in Syria, such as Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki, Jaysh al-Sunna, Jabhat Ansar al-Din and Liwa al-Haqq. Jihadis also claiming Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) will announce soon that it has joined Tahrir al Sham as well. A new logo for Tahrir al Sham has already been created and disseminated online.
Some Jihadist report they are defecting from Ahrar al Sham to new combined entity, Tahrir al Sham.
According to a statement at a photo, a jihadi known as Abu Hashim Jaber Al-Sheikh will head the new organization the former head of Ahrar al Sham, which continues to operate under its own name in Syria. Bilad al Sham Media, a small pro-al Qaeda jihadi outfit, have already translated the statement into English and published it.
Various groups tried to unite behind Abu Jaber’s leadership in Aleppo early last year, but it appears that effort never took off. Still, the unity initiative in Aleppo indicates that the jihadist have been pushing for Abu Jaber to serve as a possible front man for some time.
Some reports have identified Abu Jaber as a former member of al Qaeda in Iraq. Abu Jaber quickly announced on his Twitter feed that he had resigned from Ahrar al Sham. He also said that his newly-created entity would enter into a ceasefire with other groups in northern Syria. It is not clear what position Jabhat Fateh al-Sham’s leader, Abu Mohammad al-Julani, will hold in Tahrir al Sham. It seems that Julani may be appointed as the military commander of a new entity is something is wrong. He could also assume some other post.
Meanwhile, Abu Mohammad al-Julani, as a Jabhat Fateh al-Sham commander, rejected mediation attempts to reconcile with Ahrar al-Sham and its allies. Joint compound of extremists launched an offensive to the north-west of Syria. The attack was conducted to south of Idlib and in the mountainous area of Jebel al-Zawiya near the Syrian-Turkish border.
The clashes between militants from various armed coalitions are now also taking place around the city of Dana and near al Jerade to the north of the town of Ma`arat al-Nu`man. Jabhat Fateh al-Sham also captured the villages of Deir Sunbul, Ma’aret Hurmah and Farkia.
Sukkur al-Sham, Jaish al-Mujahideen and Jaish al-Shimal Brigades suffered heavy losses and decided to ask for a support from the group of Ahrar al-Sham, which finally helped them and organized a joint command. In 2015-2016 these groups fought in the ranks of Jaysh Al Fateh coalition.
It should be noted that the war between extremists in the northwest of Syria broke out this week after a part of the armed opposition took part in the talks in Astana. Ahrar al-Sham didn’t sent representatives to negotiate in the capital of Kazakhstan, but said they supported the opposition’s delegation. Jabhat Fateh al-Sham militants accused their former allies of betrayal of the course in response.
The success of the Syrian government army (SAA) has previously led to some conflicts between Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa militants who had accused each other of cowardice and of a desire to become the head of all the terrorists by eliminating rivals. Given the information the experts of Inside Syria Media Center do not exclude that this split in the ranks of the radicals will help SAA to shift the balance and may even affect the course of further negotiations on the Syrian issue as well. US-backed ‘moderate’ opposition is actually defeated and cannot come to any agreement between them. Some terrorists retreat and the differences between them pour into armed clashes.