On August 17, Abu al-Farouq al-Maghribi, a Moroccan terrorist leader, was assassinated in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib.
Al-Maghribi was attacked by unidentified assailants on his way back from his military post in the northern Lattakia countryside. The assailants ambushed the terrorist on a road near the town of Jisr al-Shughur in the western countryside of Idlib and targeted his vehicle with dozens of bullets.
The terrorist was fatally wounded during the attack. A few hours after being transported to a nearby hospital he was pronounced dead.
Al-Maghribi was a senior leader of “Harakat Sham al-Islam,” an al-Qaeda-affiliated group composed of primarily Moroccans that has been active during most of the Syrian war. The group was founded in August 2013 by three Moroccan detainees who had been released from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, Ibrahim bin Shakran, Ahmed Mizouz and Mohammed Alami.
On 25 July 2014, the group announced that it became a part of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat Ansar al-Din. It was designated as a terrorist organization by the US State Department on 24 September 2014 and by United Nations on 29 February 2016.
The group’s leader, Shakran, was killed in a battle with Syrian Government forces in April 2014, along with the group’s military commander, Abu Safiya Al-Masri. On 12 December 2016, the group fully dissolved into Jabhat Ansar al-Din.
No side has claimed responsibility for the assassination of al-Maghribi, as for now. The Syrian intelligence or foreign intelligence agencies, including Russian and American agencies, may have been behind the assassination. So do, ISIS whose cells in Greater Idlib targeted rival terrorists in the past.
Some radical activists in Greater Idlib also speculated that the assassination was orchestrated by al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, the de-facto ruler of the region. According to some sources, the assassination took place just a few meters away from a checkpoint of the terrorist group’s security forces.
Greater Idlib continue to offer a safe haven for thousands of dangerous terrorists from around the globe. Turkey, which has a large force in the region, has been doing nothing to change this situation.
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