Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and al-Qaeda-affiliated Horas al-Din have reached a reconciliation agreement, pro-militants sources revealed on February 1.
Al-Zubair al-Ghazi, a religious judge in HTS, said that the agreement was reached during a meeting between HTS’ leader Abu Mohammad al-Julani and a radical cleric known as Abu Hamam, who represented Horas al-Dine.
The two sides agreed on the following terms:
- Horas al-Din acknowledges that HTS didn’t take any weapons from it;
- Horas al-Din will not establish any hideouts, in return HTS will proved safe places for them;
- Horas al-Din will not work to weaken HTS or compete with it, Horas al-Din work will be harmonious with the work of HTS and complementary to it;
- Horas al-Din will not shelter anyone who was an enemy of HTS, like fighters of Jund al-Aqsa or ISIS;
- Any disagreement over organizational matters that may appear in the future will be referred to the head of the committee that oversaw this agreement;
- No one move from one of the two groups to the other without a permission from his command;
- HTS will arm some groups of Horas al-Din in way that will allow them to work under the cover of the group and through it;
- Horas al-Din will case all attempts to reach southern Syria and end all of its activities there;
- Both sides are committed to seek justice through local religious courts;
- Horas al-Din will not comment on HTS’ political and religious statements in public. However, the group can advise HTS’ leadership in secret.
The crisis between HTS and Horas al-Din began few days ago, when the al-Qaeda affiliated group accused al-Julani of defecting and stealing its weapons. The group also revealed that HTS had asked it to join a military council led by the Turkish-backed Faylaq al-Sham and to not oppose the reopening of the strategic Hama-Aleppo highway.
Despite of the reconciliation agreement, prominent Jihadi cleric, Abu al-Yaqzan al-Masri, resigned from HTS. The infamouse terrorist may join Horas al-Din in the upcoming days.
The HTS-Horas al-Din agreement is an example of the high-level coordination between the two radical groups. It also proves that al-Julani has never abandoned the ideology of al-Qaeda, despite of his supposed “defection.”