Rebel Civil War In Idlib: Jaish al-Ahrar Defects From Hayat Tahrir al-Sham

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On September 13, Jaish al-Ahrar armed group announced its defection from Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in an official statement. In the statement, Jaish al-Ahrar claimed that the decision was taken due to internal disagreement in HTS, especially the disrespect shown by HTS towards its religious scholars.

Rebel Civil War In Idlib: Jaish al-Ahrar Defects From Hayat Tahrir al-Sham

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Furthermore, Jaish al-Arar said that a joint committee with HTS was formed to solve any problem that could appear as a result the defection. This means that although Jaish al-Ahrar defected from HTS, it did it not make HTS its enemy.

Jaish al-Ahrar is considered one of the biggest armed groups within HTS and in Idlib governorate in general. The group was founded in 2016 to support the Ahrar al-Sham Movement. However, it joined HTS later.

Syrian opposition activists believe that the defection of Jaish al-Ahrar is another result of the the HTS leaks.

In the leaks, HTS top commanders like Abu Mariya al-Qahtani and Abu Mohammad al-Julani conspired to eliminate the Ahra al-Sham Movement in Idlib.

Moreover, in the leaks the commanders insult the well-known Saudi religious scholar Abdullah al-Muhaysini. A religious scholar of Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement also revealed previously that al al-Julani conspired to establish relationships with Iran.

The Jaish al-Ahrar defection comes after al Muhaysini and Muslih al-Ulyani – extreme religious scholars –  announced their defection from HTS on September 11. Syrian opposition activists believe that Jaish al-Ahrar  won’t be the last group defected from HTS.

While the HTS public image in Idlib governorate is under attack, HTS is still to this moment the strongest military force in the governorate. Moreover, it’s very unlikely that any armed group in Idlib has a power to challege HTS without a direct support from Turkey or the USA or even Russia.

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  • dutchnational

    Interesting report.

    As for the clerics, maybe any organisation in the Mena should have a golden rule :

    First time a cleric gets into politics, they get flogged because they like the sharia so much.

    The second time they get a choice : Keep their mouths shut, accept internal exile of be hanged.

    • FlorianGeyer

      The third time they are banished to Holland and get bored to death

      • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

        Second the motion presented by Brother FlorianGeyer!

        There have been defections everywhere in all the factions, even Falayq al Rahman, those just keep getting more interesting.

    • Brother Ma

      Good idea.best thing mustapha kemal ,communist albania , assad syria , saddams iraq and egypt ever did was to crush and hang clerics with too big a mouth!

  • Thegr8rambino

    This sounds good, weakening of HTS I think

  • Pave Way IV

    So the Saudi Wahhabi religious scholars of the Jaish al-Ahrar head-choppers were insulted by the Saudi Wahhabi leaders of HTS head-choppers?

    The problem isn’t that anyone was insulted. The problem is anyone considering the death cult of Saudi Wahhabism as a legitimate religious sect and assuming that death cult could have ‘scholars’.

    Al Qaeda is Saudi Wahhabism. Al Nusra is Saudi Wahhabism. ISIS is Saudi Wahhabism. Jaish al-Ahrar and HTS are both Saudi Wahhabism. Al-Zenki is Saudi Wahhabism.

    Anyone see the pattern, here? Saudi Wahhabism is not native to Syria OR Iraq – it was put there by the Saudis for a reason.

    • Brother Ma

      Absolutely right. This is just muddling the waters. These turco mercenary headchoppers are just losing propaganda war as well so are trying to distract people of their crimes by petty squabling and name changes. As if i care what group or what name a headchopper has.all headchoppers the same to most people!