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Ahrar Ash-Sham Commander’s Assassination Reveals ISIS’s Influence | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A member of the Free Syrian Army sits on a sofa in the middle of a debris-strewn street in Deir al-Zor, Syria, on April 2, 2013, Reuters

Beirut- The recent suicide bombing targeting the leader of the Ahrar ash-Sham Islamist movement in the Idlib Governorate, located in northwestern Syria, revealed the level of security breaches suffered by the Syrian Opposition’s north forces.

The infringements are majorly operated by sleeper cells affiliated with ISIS and the Syrian regime, and aim at taking down prominent military leaderships in the Syrian operation. The cells’ latest target was the reported killing of “Abu Hussein Binnish” a leader of the Ahrar ash-Sham Islamist movement.

Sources confirmed that the Syrian Opposition leader Binnish, who is otherwise known as Majed Hussein al-Sadeq, was killed alongside three other brothers in arms recruits. The four were taken down by a suicide attack targeting the movement’s headquarters in Idlib.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights revealed that an unidentified man mounting a motorbike had parked near the movement’s headquarters and then stepped down, walked towards the gathering of a number of fighters and then detonated the explosive belt he was wearing, leaving some dead and others gravely injured.

Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper sources reveal that Binnish has been assassinated at a region which is crowded by 400 of his fighters, which confirms that he is the only person targeted by the bombing.

Ahrar ash-Sham commander Mohammed al-Shami told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that strong suspicions are directed towards ISIS for being accountable for the attack. He pointed out that Abu Hussein, who is of Binnish city provenance, has taken over the general security commander of the movement in 2014, and as of then has begun tracking down ISIS sleeper cells. The late commander has also established a military intelligence unit for the movement.

Al-Shami said that Abu Hussein has experienced three other attempts for his life since 2014.

Ahrar ash-Sham has been suffering multiple attempts on assassinations running year on in Idlib and Aleppo. The attacks are being carried out by ISIS militants and Syrian regime forces, according to al-Shami. “ISIS’s fingerprints are clear in the assassinations which had taken place at Al-Hamidiyah camp, Idlib and Jisr al-Shughur,” al-Shami said.

Ahrar ash-Sham is one of the movements suffering the worst security breaches launched by ISIS among the rest of the Syrian Opposition groups, taking into consideration that its members were close to ISIS until the latter was banished from Syrian Opposition areas in Idlib, Aleppo and Lattakia late 2015.

After ISIS’s expulsion, Ahrar ash-Sham took upon itself the responsibility of tracking down and exterminating ISIS sleeper cells in the region, given that the movement covers a vast area of northern Syria.