Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

'Jund al-Aqsa', Remarkable Case on Radical Field in Syria - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page

Beirut – Clashes between “Ahrar al-Sham” and “Jund al-Aqsa” in the northern region of Syria have led this latter to announce allegiance to “Jabhat Fateh al-Sham”, which has recently split from Al-Qaeda. This allegiance emphasizes attempts to resettle the “Jihadist” zone in Syria and to unify extremist groups in it on the long term.

On the 10th of October, “Fateh al-Sham” and “Ahrar al-Sham” have declared the final agreement concerning recent clashes that took place with “Jund al-Aqsa”, which urged “Fateh al-Sham” to intervene through negotiations to put an end to the ongoing fighting and to bring “Jund al-Aqsa” under its control.

The agreement pointed that the homage of “Jund a-Aqsa” to “Fateh al-Sham” as a total merge, which means that “Jund al-Aqsa” cannot be reformed in the future under any new form or name; finally, the agreement has also stressed on taking the situation in town of Sermine, Idlib to the stage as it was before clashes; handing the surveillance mission to “Fateh al-Sham”.

Deal after fighting

This deal has come to light after bloody clashes between “Jund al-Aqsa” and “Ahrar al-Sham” movements that lasted for many days in the regions controlled by opposition factions in the northern region of Syria. These clashes blew up following an attempt to kidnap a military official from Ahrar al-Sham through an operation that killed his wife and brother. According to local sources, Idlib clashes killed many people and wounded hundreds of others from both sides, including leaders from Ahrar al-Sham.

About “Jund al-Aqsa”

“Jund al-Aqsa is considered a radical group that includes Syrian and foreign militants – according to available information – this group has been established in 2013 by Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Qatari who belonged to al-Qaeda and chose not to line with Nusra Front or ISIS; the current “Emir” of this group is the Saudi Arabia Abu Thar al-Najdi l-Harthy.

Religious identity of the group

“Jund al-Aqsa” focuses on the importance of religious devoutness to protect what it called “Sunni nation” in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq; this group has not directed its members to launch attacks against the West but to concentrate their efforts to fight in Syria. However, “Jund al-Aqsa” does not consider itself part of the Syria opposition against Bashar Assad’s regime and does not acknowledge Syria as an independent country; instead, it sees it as part of a bigger Caliphate.

ISIS breakthrough

Sources in the national Islamic opposition in Syria have accused “Jund al-Aqsa” of cooperating with ISIS; however, despite all these accusations, leaders of “Jund al-Aqsa” have always declared loyalty to Al-Qaeda.

On 31 June, the group has issued a statement in which it praised the transformation of “Nusra Front” to “Jabhat Fateh al-Sham” and considered that this decision took by Al-Qaeda leaders will serve the interest of people in Syria.

Yet, sources suggest that a number of regular members in” al-Aqsa” may line with ISIS after rumors saying that the group has been breached by ISIS, which aims at targeting its leaders.

Meanwhile, “Jund al-Aqsa”’ expects its official to join Fateh Al-Sham to put an end to the ongoing fighting among the opposition’s factions.

In this context, Dr. Abdallah Muhammad al Muhaysini, known with his connections with Al-Qaeda in Syria said that he contributed in reaching this agreement. On another hand, the conclusion of clashes between “Ahrar al-Sham” and “Jund al-Aqsa” highlights developments in the radical field in Syria and the efforts seeking to unify different radical groups in it.