DAMASCUS, SYRIA (3:41 AM) – Famous Saudi preacher and sharia judge in the terrorist group Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham made a recent publication tackling the question of whether a new jihadist coalition similar to Jaish al-Fateh is in the making as the Syrian government’s military campaign on Idlib gains steam.
Muheisni began his statement with condemnation of the infighting that led to the loss of many “Muslim brothers” at the “hands of their brethren” saying that the Shami (Levantine) Jihad has suffered almost “irrecoverable” damage due to incessant rebel infighting. Allegedly, many jihadists had lost their will to fight the war anymore and thousands have already dropped their weapons, quit fighting, and went back to day-to-day business. Many have even left to Turkey.
Muheisni went on to make the revelation that the jihadist groups have lost most of their popular support in Idlib while many foreign sponsors and charities have ceased their activities and humanitarian support in northern Syria.
What is the solution? According to the Saudi preacher, Zinki, Ahrar, and HTS have begun in-depth dialogue aimed at a general inclusive reconciliation between the warring rebels and the potential formation of a new joint operations room similar to the Jaish al-Fateh Coalition that was the dominant player in the conquest of Idlib in 2015 and the rebel victories in Aleppo’s southern countryside in the spring of 2016 (the capture of Zitan, Al-Eis, and Khalsah).
Though, the extremist religious figure made clear his doubts that such an initiative would succeed without achieving a lasting agreement that includes the dominant rebel groups in the north- else infighting is destined to implode again, perhaps at the cost of Idlib this time.