#Syria #Salafi #Jihadi update


August is coming and promising to be tough for the Salafi Jihadi groups fighting in Syria. Here is a brief update with what is going on with them.

1- The #Islamic_State:

Today, the Islamic State is still holding to half of al-Raqqah city, and only few locations around it.  The second biggest area they are holding now (July 28/2017) is Ma’dan معدان, east of al-Raqqah.

Also today, the Islamic State lost  its strategic hold in areas east of Khanaser, in Reef Halab al-Janubi ( The Southern Country Side of the Governorship of Allepo).  al-Assad forces, and its allies, are encircling Durayhim and Jabal Shbeeth, دريهم و جبل شبيث, which will lead eventually to the loosening of the Islamic State grip over the road between Athria and al-Rasafeh.  Through these positions the Islamic State always threatened to cut the southern route coming to the city of Allepo, and also threatened to attack al-Assad super important positions there in Ma’amel al-Difa’.

East of al-Raqqah, the Islamic State still holds few large urban centers most importantly are most of Deir al-Zur, and al-Bukamal by the Iraqi border.  After al-Raqqah, if the Islamic State loses the areas under their control in Deir al-Zur and al-Bukamal, one could say they are done in Syria more or less.

Many members of the Islamic State are coming from Iraq into Syria, and many of them are also escaping to the areas held by other Islamic Groups.

In the Syrian Desert: the Islamic State is still holding al-Sukhna, where a battle with the advancing Assad, and its allies, forces is almost underway.

The Islamic State has a presence also in the Sadd al-Wa’r سد الوعر area ( Between al-Bukamal and al-Tanaf), and a very modest presence in al-Qalamun, a presence in Damascus in Mukhayam al-Yarmuk, and a presence in Southern Syria through Jaysh Khaled ibn al-Waleed.

2- #Hay’atـTahrirـal-Sham:

This group is a hybrid, but the main fighting Salfi groups in this coalition are:

a- al-#Nusra, which had morphed a little while ago to Jabhat Tahir al-Sham

b- Jabhat #Ansar_al-Din   #جبهة ـأنصارـ الدين

c- Jasysh al-Sunnah جيش السنة

d- Liwa’ al-Haqq لواء الحق

e- Liwa’ Nur al-Din al-Zinki. لواء نور الدين الزنكي

Today, this group is engaged in battles not against al-Assad, but against #Ahrar_al-Sham and other groups.

This battle is very important because Ahrar al-Sham are trying to distance themselves from the international jihadi aspect of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham.  #Ahrar_al-Sham is trying to show a more Syrian face than the pan-Islam cross-the-border-Muslim Umma, the ex-#Nusra and its allies espouse.

The leader on paper for this group today is Hashem al-Shaykh, a.k.a Abu Jaber, the ex-leader of Ahrar al-Sham.  Abu Muhammad al-Julani is the leader of the biggest military faction in this coalition, as all observers agree.  The top religious clerics are also known and amongst them are the two Saudis: Musleh al-‘Ulayani مصلح العلياني and Abd Allah al-Muhaysini عبد الله المحيسني.   This religious committee has also the Egyptians Abu al-Hareth al-Masri and the newly famous Abu al-Yaqzan al-Masri, plus the Jordanian  Abu Mahmud al-Shami ( Sami al-Aridi سامي العريدي), few Syrians like Abu al-Taher al-Hamwi, Abu Yusuf al-Hamwi, and ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Mahdi.

The majority of Hay’at Tahir al-Sham are non-Syrians, according to all accounts at this moment, especially after the defection of Liwa’ Nur al-Din al-Zinki لواء نور الدين الزنكي away from the coalition.

The local Syrians are also demonstrating against this group and raising the Syrian Revolution Green flag to antagonize the international Jihadis with their black flag.  Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham.

This group, through its Nusra branch, was involved up till yesterday in a battle against Hizbollah of Lebanon in Jurud ‘Irsal.  The battle just ended with the expulsion of al-Nusra from the area after they were defeated and encircled.  Abu Malek al-Talli was the local leader of al-Nusra there.  He had dug deep into the mountain and for the last few years he seemed to be able to stay as a danger.  With his defeat, al-Nusra had lost its footing in al-Qalamun al-Gharbi may be for good.

This group also operates in al-Julan and near Dar’a in the south of Syria.

The future of this group is going to come up to light after the eventual defeat of the Islamic State in Syria.

3- #Ahrar al-#Sham:

All indications are showing that Ahrar al-Sham is going to try and be a part of the large political deal that is looming, and which excludes every party that has an Islamic Jihadi face to it, which means changing its flag, speech and outlook.

They are now in a bloody fight against Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, which are attracting almost all of the foreign Jihadis that were in the ranks of Ahrar al-Sham.

The next few months are crucial for the survival of this group, which may disappear to appear in a less Islamist format.

4- #Jayshـal-Islam:

This group is engaged in a fight with al-Assad in al-Ghuta.  The strength of this group is not growing, and most likely it will transform like Ahrar al-Sham.

The same logic goes to the smaller groups like Faylaq al-Rahman and al-Suqur, where all of them will tone down the Jihadi face.

5- The other Non-Syrian groups:

a: al-Hizb al-Islami al-#Turkistani: This group is still around holding to some positions in Reef Hama and Reed Idleb, plus few areas near Kbani, in the coastal mountains.  This group is not making the news a lot recently and staying away from the fight between al-Ahrar and the others.  But, it will be attacked when the other international Jihadi groups would be attacked.

b- Jabhat Ansar al-Din: This group fights under Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham.  Its power is dwindling with time by the loss of more of its fighter and the inability to grow.  Harakat Sham al-Islam is a part of this.

Posted in al-Nusra, Alawites, Aleppo, Dar'a, Homs, Huran, Idleb, Iraq, Islam, Islamic, Islamic State, Jaysh al-Islam, Jihad, Jihadi Gospel, Latakia, Nusra, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Syria battles, Uncategorized, اللاذقية, حلب, سوريا | Leave a comment

An attempt to assassinate al-#Muhaysini in Idlib

Today, a man wearing a suicide belt approached the car carrying the Saudi Jihadi preacher ‘Abd Allah al-#Muhaysini detonating himself.  The explosion happened in #Idleb.

The attacker killed himself, and al-Muhaysini lived to give his version.


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Top 50 Jihadi songs of 2016

In the year 2016, amongst Jihadi Nasheeds/songs’ producers, the Islamic State occupied the top spot again.

The list of producers of this type of ideological acappellas  could include:

1- militant groups with a media arm, like the Islamic State which has Ajn ad and other outlets to produce.  al-Qa’ida in Syria, which operates now under the name Ha’yat Tahir al-Sham, also produce.  They are no match for the Islamic State’s high def, higher quality nasheeds.

2- A solo Munshed (singer/producer) living outside any area of direct conflict could produce this type of material.  Here, it is important to note that the Islamic Nasheed category is a very popular genre in the Middle East.

Again, unabated, through its arm Mu’assassat #Ajnad lil Intaj al-I’lami, the Islamic State produce top hits that normally, beside being released separately, they appear in their constant video releases.

Many of these Jihadi anthems are made for the video releases.

One would expect that the Islamic State’ anthem production factory would suffer after the death of its top star Saudi producer/singer/Munshid Maher Mash’al in an air strike near al-Raqqa/Syria in 2015. Adding to that blow, another air strike killed in the same month in 2015 Abu Hajar al-Hadrami, another top tier Munshid, who had contributed a lot to Jihadi song/Nasheed production in the last 5 years.

The year 2016 had witnessed the rise of a superstar whose identity is still a mystery. He does Nasheeds for the Islamic State. He is responsible for many of its current top hits.  His voice is very distinguished, but he is never been identified.  Normally, the Islamic State does not advertise and tell who is the Munshid. When Mu’assadat Ajnad release a Nasheed they do not say who wrote the words, and/or, who is singing it also.

This anonymous Minshid is responsible for the first top three in the list…

Here are the top 50 Jihadi songs of 2016.

To be continued …

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What do al-Assad benefit from using #Sarin in #Syria these days?

With all the noise about the incident in #Khan_Shaykhun, no one had asked themselves the most important logical question:

1- What do Bashar al-assad benefit from using #Sarin these days?

2- Why would al-Assad attack Khan Shaykhun?

3- What is the strategic benefit from hitting Khan Shaykhun with #Sarin?

4- Where did al-Assad get the Sarin?  As far as the world knows he gave up his stockpile of Sarin in 2013/2014.

5- Why would al-Assad jeopardize a confrontation with Trump after getting good signals from Trump and his administration?


Posted in al-Nusra, Homs, Idleb, Syria, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Syria News Update Nov. 2016

Today the Russians started a bombing campaign.  This happened a day after US president-elect Donald #Trump had spoken with Russia’s Vladimir #Putin.  Long range missiles were fired from ships to signal a new phase in the Syrian Conflict.

The Russians supported al-Assad and his allies in their latest important battles in Western Aleppo.  They absorbed a very large attack then pushed the attacker back.  They also gained some minor territories in this sequence.  Eastern Aleppo is getting heavily bombed from the air today.  In it the anti Assad groups vowed to fight till the end refusing to get out with their weapons.

North of Aleppo, al-Bab is the next battle between the Islamic State and its adversaries.  To al-Bab there is a race between the group that is being led by Turkey against the group let mostly by the Kurds, and which included some non-Kurds militias and gets the support of the Americans.  The Americans have now to major bases, that are known, in north and north east of Syria in areas under control of the Kurdish militias.

Near Aleppo, anti Assad groups clashed amongst each others in many different occasions.  First there was a big clash between Ahrar al-Sham versus Jund al-Aqsa, and now there was one up till yesterday between Ahrar al-Sham versus Jaysh al-Mujahidin.

The Islamic State were all talk.  They did not show up to the battle of Dabiq.

To the east, al-Raqa is being crept upon by few anti Islamic State groups.  East of that, the Islamic State still have a good hold on most of Deir al-Zur and al-Bukamal.  The Islamic State is also still active in the desert area East of Homs.

al-Nusra had changed its name few months ago to Fath al-Sham.  Its ways are still the same.

In the last month the most active foreign Jihadi groups are al-Huzb al-Islami al-Turkistani .  This group provided many suicide bombers and assault troops, known as Inghimasyin.  Jund al-Aqsa, and Jabhat Ansar al-Dain/Harakat Sham al-Islam are also active in the battles around.

On al-Assad’s side the biggest foreign groups fighting with him other than Hizbollah and the Russians are al-Nujaba’ from Iraq and Fatimiyun.

Near Damascus, battles are strong near Khan al-Shaykh.  al-Assad settled with his opponents in some areas where the armed groups left with their families to anti Assad held areas, like Idlib.

The areas between Hama and Idlib cooled off last month because of the big assault on Aleppo.  al-Assad made some gains, where his troops benefited from the clash that took place between Ahrar al-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa.






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al-Nusra’s dreams for 2016

The Summer of 2016 is crucial for Jabhat al-Nusra’s dreams to establish something like that of the #Islamic State, formerly known as #ISIS.

Back in 2014, when Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his group declared the establishment of their state, everyone was wondering if al-Nusra was going to do the same or not.  Many said it was just a matter of time.

al-Julani, the leader of al-Nusra, was always cautious in stating the ambitions of his group.  Back in 2014, there were not too many groups that were close in size to al-Nusra, although many of them groups existed then.  al-Nusra was stronger and controlled lots of towns and villages, but, many other groups existed.

al-Nusra has its own courts, police, army, and the missionaries who are active in the land they control, or share control in.  They also have a very active media department that is constantly producing videos about all of their actions, military or not.

Although al-Nusra can claim military victories here and there in recent months, but, they were not fighting alone.  There are other large Jihadi groups that can take as much credit for those victories, like al-Hizb al-Islami al-Turkistani and Jund al-Aqsa; tow very large groups that fight alongside al-Nusra in many battlefields.

Some areas, under the control of Jabhat al-Nusra, are witnessing unrest where the local population are not welcoming al-Nusra like before, like in M’arat al-Ni’man and Jayrud, in al-Qalamun al-Sharqi.  The reason for this is the violent actions of Jabhat al-Nusra against the locals.  There are reports of people being detained by Jabhat al-Nusra and tortured.

In Jayrud, an Alawite pilot whose SU22 went down was killed by an erratic Jabhat al-Nusra fighter after that pilot was captured alive.  By doing this, this Nusra fighter prevented the people from Jayrud, which is out of the control of Bashar al-Assad, from swapping him with their detainees, and brought on them the wrath of al-Assad air force that pummeled them into oblivion causing the local population to go out into the street and force al-Nusra out of the city.  al-Nusra claimed to have arrested their fighter.

Jabhat al-Nusra is also the target of the Russian air force operating in Syria.

(to be continued later today)




Posted in al-Nusra, Aleppo, Dar'a, Islam, Islamic, Islamic State, Jihad, Nusra, Uncategorized, اللاذقية, حلب, سوريا | Leave a comment

About the term “Muhajer” مهاجر

Quick notes about the word “Muhajer,” a word that is used to denote mainly to the person who leaves his place of birth seeking either a religious goal, or a personal, non-religious, aim.

1- The word #Muhajer comes from the very Hajara, ha-ja-ra، هاجر

2- Its importance in Islamic terms stems from the act of #Hijrah performed by Muhammad, the Prophet, when he left his home in Mecca and went to, then, Yathreb, later known as al-Madina al-Munawarah.  He established a successful state after that.  Here the action of Hijrah is important because it leads to the establishment to a state.  For example, many Jihadis today following this example stress the importance of Hijrah so they could achieve a “Khilafa following the example” of that made during the days of the Prophet.

3- Today, the word #Muhajer denotes to many differing characters. The one who has left his country looking for a chance to work is known as a Muhajer.  Also, the one who left his country to join a Muslim group fighting somewhere is called a Muhajer.  There is a huge difference between both, although the same word is used to denote to both.

4- Jihadi recruiters always invoke the word Hijrah to entice people to leave the comfort of their homes.  In this case the word Hijrah is close to the word #Nafeer, which mean to leave the comfort of your home and join the battle.

5- According to many Muslim theoreticians, if there is a Muslim State, every Muslim should  perform Hijrah, which mean in this case joining that Muslim State.  Those behind #ISIS always ask people to come to them: to perform Hijrah to the land of #Khilafa.

6- al-Muhajer is the nickname of many Jihadis, for example: Abu Hamza al-Muhajer.

7- When a Muslim takes the boat to Europe, the last thing in the world he wants is to have the word Muhajer stuck to his name.  He wants to get out of this stigma as fast as possible.


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