Foreign Jihadists in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib stressed their support for al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in a joint statement released on June 18.
In the joint statement, the jihadists praised HTS for “supporting the religion and serving Mujahedeen” as well as for “preserving security” and “implementing Shari’a [Islamic law].” The jihadists noted in their statement that the group is not faultless.
“Supporting Hay’at is not a claim to infallibility or immunity to mistakes, nor a favorite a faction or a bigotry to a tribe,” the statement reads.
The unusual statement was signed by many prominent terrorists, including leaders in HTS’ own ranks like Abu al-Harith al-Masri, as well as the following groups:
- The Turkistan Islamic Party [Uyghur jihadists];
- Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad [Uzbek jihadists];
- Liwa al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar [Caucasian jihadists];
- Sham al-Islam [Moroccan jihadists];
- Jzazrawiat al-Hay’at [Saudi jihadists];
- Tajiki Jamat [Tajiki jihadists];
- Muhajree Ahl al-Sunnah Min Iran [Iranian jihadists];
- Jamat al-Alban [Albanian jihadists];
- Jamat al-Maldives [Maldivians jihadists].
The statement was clearly meant to support HTS which is being criticized by ‘more radical’ al-Qaeda-affiliated factions in Greater Idlib.
HTS is now involved in conflicts with both Horas al-Din and Ansar al-Din. Both groups and defectors from HTS formed a new operations room in Greater Idlib earlier this month. HTS apparently sees this as a threat.
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