Arab Today, arab today ahrar alsham jihadists emerge from shadows in north syria
Last Updated : GMT 14:08:27
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Ahrar al-Sham jihadists emerge from shadows in north Syria

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Ahrar al-Sham jihadists emerge from shadows in north Syria

Atme - AFP

Jihadist group Ahrar al-Sham is emerging from the shadows of the larger rebel outfit Al-Nusra Front as key player in northern Syria, playing up its nationalist roots and more moderate form of Islam. Fighters from the group, whose name means in Arabic the "Free Men of Syria", are mainly to be found on the battlefields in the northern provinces of Idlib, Aleppo and central Hama alongside some 30 other jihadist organisations. For a long time it was eclipsed by the hardline Al-Nusra Front which has claimed responsibility for the majority of deadly suicide bombings in Syria's nearly two-year conflict and is blacklisted by Washington as a terror outfit. But in recent months Ahrar al-Sham has begun unleashing its fighters across the battlefronts, especially in Idlib where they played a leading role in advances around the city of Jisr al-Shughur, an AFP reporter said. Its fighters are also on the frontlines of the battles around the city of Idlib and further south in Maarat al-Numan. Their victories have been trumpeted on the Internet and, rebel sources say, have been accomplished thanks to financial backing from Gulf Arab countries. At the end of December, Ahrar al-Sham announced the creation of an Islamic front grouping a dozen of other organisations including Ansar al-Sham, Liwa al-Haq and Jamaat al-Taliaa. On January 31 several other groups announced on a statement posted on the Internet that they had joined forces with Ahrar al-Sham to form a broader coalition dubbed "Harakat Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiyya" (The Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham). Although some Arab jihadists fight amongst their ranks, most of Ahrar al-Sham's fighters are Syrian nationals while the group's founders, according to a source close to it, were former political prisoners released in an amnesty. "The founders of the movement are all former political prisoners who were detained in the infamous Sednaya prison near Damascus," the source said. "For years they lived and suffered together in jail (but) were set free as part of an amnesty ordered by the regime in May 2011." The group appears to be well-structured although the names of their commanders are not in the public domain. However, a fighter known as Abu Anas is the leader for battlegrounds in northern Syria. One of Ahrar al-Sham's strengths is that it has deep roots in northern rebel-held territory, where unlike the shadowy Al-Nusra Front, its men enjoy grassroots support because some are from the villages and cities of the region. The group's approach to Islam is less rigid that the position of Al-Nusra Front -- which Washington says has links to Al-Qaeda in Iraq -- with group leaders insisting they oppose "fanaticism." Ahrar al-Sham supports the creation of an Islamic state in Syria but one that is based on sharia, Islamic law, that would guarantee the rights of minorities including Christians. "Their rhetoric is loaded with Islamic references but... deep down their goal is to restore the sovereignty of the Syrian people and do away with dictatorship," said Jean-Pierre Filiu, an expert on jihadist movements. On the ground Ahrar al-Sham fight sometimes alongside the mainstream rebel Free Syrian Army and Al-Nusra, joining in attacks on regime military targets -- but apparently refrain from taking part in suicide bombings. Like other jihadists their fighters wear black turbans and their beards long, and fly a white flag with an eagle soaring over the name of the group on their checkpoints.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today ahrar alsham jihadists emerge from shadows in north syria Arab Today, arab today ahrar alsham jihadists emerge from shadows in north syria

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories

GMT 20:02 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories
Arab Today, arab today Tourism shows signs of recovery

GMT 09:59 2017 Monday ,20 February

Tourism shows signs of recovery
Arab Today, arab today Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"
Arab Today, arab today Top Yemen commander killed

GMT 09:55 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Top Yemen commander killed
Arab Today, arab today To probe sexual harassment claims

GMT 10:08 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

To probe sexual harassment claims
View News in Arabic - Country: سوريا
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today To hold social dialogue over secondary school

GMT 07:43 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

To hold social dialogue over secondary school
Arab Today, arab today 63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby
Arab Today, arab today Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Nissan enhances sales in most markets

GMT 14:08 2017 Monday ,20 February

Nissan enhances sales in most markets
Arab Today, arab today Competes Sweden and Germans by S90

GMT 22:36 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Competes Sweden and Germans by S90
Arab Today, arab today Janat pleased for issuing 'Good Morning'

GMT 06:41 2017 Monday ,20 February

Janat pleased for issuing 'Good Morning'
Arab Today, arab today Small ponds have outsized impact

GMT 15:53 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Small ponds have outsized impact

GMT 06:34 2017 Sunday ,19 February

Ahmed Fahmy stresses he did not ignore singing

GMT 06:50 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Tragic fluctuations of Bakhtiari's life revealed

GMT 12:22 2017 Monday ,20 February

Kanye West puts hijab-wearing model

GMT 14:06 2017 Friday ,17 February

London to tax old cars

GMT 23:29 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Home built on sand castles-style costs $8m

GMT 05:15 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Omega 3 can reduce asthma cases

GMT 19:16 2017 Friday ,17 February

Aziz House ready to host the tourists

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 12:39 2017 Monday ,20 February

newest smartphone another winner for Huawei

GMT 16:08 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Shawsh reveals her collection "Jewelry of dreams"
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday