When it comes to perspectives on the jihad in Syria, one can essentially identify three main poles of opinion among those who are normally defined as jihadists. One of those poles is the Islamic State and its supporters. The second pole is that of al-Qa'ida, the Jordanian jihadist cleric Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, and their supporters. The third pole is that of Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham and its supporters. Not all jihadists fit neatly into one of these categories: for example, some might go so far as to declare outright takfir on Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham and would undoubtedly be regarded by many people in the second pole as too extreme, but at the same time they are clearly not Islamic State supporters.
On Telegram, a channel called 'Jallad al-Murji'a' ('Skinner of the Murj'ites') is an example of an outlet falling in the second pole, though it should be stressed that the channel does not claim to represent any movement but only its own opinion. I conducted an interview with the channel regarding its perspective on the jihad in Syria. In the channel's view, Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (the main faction in northwest Syria that evolved out of al-Qa'ida-affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and no longer has allegiance to al-Qa'ida) has fallen into irja'. Historically, the term irja' refers to an early trend in Islamic thought that was condemned as deviant: allegedly, irja' denied that deeds must necessarily accompany faith. In jihadist debates, the term is often used to refer to those who make unacceptable compromises in their actions, contradicting the correct manhaj (methodology) and aqeeda (creed).
Below is the interview I conducted with Jallad al-Murji'a on 25 September 2020 CE.
How do you assess the general situation in the field of al-Sham today especially from the military angle and the administrative angle in the 'liberated north'?
The disgraceful situation that the field of al-Sham is going through in the area of the 'liberated north' is not hidden to anyone today as we notice the farcical stance of the military factions in issuing any military decision that conflicts with the Russian-Turkish mutual understandings. And the greatest evidence for that is the fact that the Hay'a allows the joint Russian-Turkish patrols to pass through inside the liberates areas, and this is what shows the inconsistency of the prior statements of Jowlani- the leader of the Hay'a- when he said what was taken to mean that the issue of the joint patrols is completely rejected in the view of the Hay'a and the general mass of the people in the liberated areas, and that they would not permit the entry of one Russian soldier into the liberated areas except through battles, so the entry of the Russians to the area after these statements means that the factions are only under two possibilities:
(a) These factions are strong and have the will but they have betrayed the jihad and implement what they considered yesterday to be betrayal and that is inserting the Russians, which is considered one of the clauses of Sochi!
(b) These factions have become very weak and are not strong enough to take a decision for confrontation or reject the Russian-Turkish mutual understandings, and therefore they have become a farce and deprived of will for the interest of the Turkish government that guides all these conspiracies against the jihad in al-Sham. But this possibility is itself easily possible, because we have seen the huge military force by which the Hay'a attacked the jihadist groups that reject Sochi, so here there appears in our view the great defect in the considerations of the Shari'is and leaders of the Hay'a regarding the state of their group for sometimes they call for force before the mujahideen then they call for weakness before the patrols of the Crusader Russians and the secular Turkish army!
As for what is called the National Army, there can be no discussion in my view regarding its affair in terms of subordination to Turkey and complete collaboration with it and this army has become an embodiment of a mercenary company like the Russian Wagner and the American Blackwater (the resemblance here in terms of the mercenary approach and not in terms of military skills of course), for Turkey sends them where it wants and when it wants and whoso opposes will be expelled. As for the option of fighting the criminal regime, it is a choice annulled from the dictionary of this 'national' army except when Turkey commands that and in the place and time which Turkey defines only.
As for the administrative angle, the conflict for authority and gaining the affection of the secular Turkish government, all see it as ongoing today between the so-called secular Coalition Government in north Aleppo countryside and the so-called Salvation government affiliated with the Hay'a in Idlib, and the truth is that these two governments are an embodiment of cartoonish forms affiliated with the controlling faction that makes them as a face for it before the world, no more. And were we to be precise, we would see that these two governments possess not the slightest administrative competencies or security competencies in the areas they are present, for the security apparatus affiliated with the Hay'a arrests whomsoever it wants and when it wants and in a way that is separate from the so-called Salvation Government. Indeed it has special prisons for it that the government cannot intervene in because they are originally a government mandated from inside the Hay'a, and the economic sector and the spoils committee in the Hay'a have their own particular income and can have their own way in the business crossings and can seize any house in Idlib and place it in the name of the Hay'a without intervention from the so-called government. These are examples, no more, and let us not forget the courts and the judiciary and other things.
As for in Aleppo countryside, the secular Coalition Government does not differ much from the Salvation Government but rather its situation is worse because of the division of the National Army there in the form of factions and gangs, among them those who arrest and among them those who kidnap and among those who assault homes and among them such and such, without regard for any authority present there. And the corruption is self-evident.
And of course let us not forget the large number of grievances and repeated assaults on the Muslims and the incidents are many! Like the incident of killing a Muslim and the running over of some by the car at the hands of the amnis of the Hay'a when the Hay'a tried to open a business crossing with the criminal regime in the area of Ma'arat al-Na'asan, and likewise let us not forget the recent event that happened and that is the attack of the amnis on the women of the Muslims in Atmeh and their cursing them and opening fire to disburse them during their coming out in a demonstration to demand for their sons who are arrested by the Hay'a, and many other such incidents! And of course there is no accounting of the criminal but rather the he is promoted regrettably! And let us not forget the arbitrary cases of arrest against any contravener or one who publishes his opinion and comes out in media against the Hay'a and its leader. There is also the drowning of the people in taxes, sometimes on the pretext of traffic violations, and sometimes on the pretext of cleaning, and sometimes they impose the taxes on the stall stands and they measure them by the metre and take a share of the poor's provision. And as for north Aleppo countryside, it is self-evident, for the principle is that they are gangs of kidnapping and robbery and the grievances among them do not differ from the grievances in Idlib but rather are more numerous!
And the end result is the lack of the people's contentment with the military situation because of the fact the factions have lost the willpower in taking the decisions and the administrative situation in particular, because of the large number of taxes and the expensiveness of prices and the large amount of oppression and administrative failure in the two regions (although there is a difference between Idlib and Aleppo countryside), and the mouthpiece of each area calls on Turkey to make use of it in administering the other region!
Of course you do not represent any group, but I would like to ask what are the roots of the disagreements between Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham and some of the mujahid factions that came together under the 'So Be Steadfast' operations room? Do you believe that Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham has deviated in manhaj and aqeeda towards Irja'? If it has deviated as such how exactly and what are the reasons?
Regarding this question, many of the mashaykh and cadres in the field of al-Sham and outside it try to conceive of what has happened from infighting between the So Be Steadfast operations room and Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham as being a conflict because of political initiatives, and this is an erroneous understanding and in it is misleading of the one who follows these 'ulama and cadres, because the disagreements that happened are not because of political initiatives but rather because of disagreements of manhaj and aqeeda that have become clear in the recent times. And it is possible for me to liken the disagreement with the Hay'a today in that it has escalated to the point of the disagreement that occurred with the Dawla group as it was in the beginning organisational then ended up becoming a disagreement of aqeeda, and this is because of deeds and statements of leaders and Shari'is of the Hay'a, for the laying of the way in front of the Sochi agreement is not a matter of political initiative but rather results from a corrupt manhaj and an aqeeda whose deviation has become clear in the recent times. For indeed the coincidence of the Hay'a's fight against the factions of the So Be Steadfast operations room with the Russian demand for Turkey to fulfil its commitments towards the clauses of the Sochi agreement and represented in neutralising and fighting the jihadist groups (the radicals), at the same time as the proceeding of the joint Russian-Turkish patrols inside Idlib: this gives us a realistic conception of the truth of the conflict, for the So Be Steadfast operations room announced in the statement of its formation that it was formed to break the international conspiracies and this is what conflicts with the Russian-Turkish mutual understandings, but the one who undertook the fighting of the room is the Hay'a! And here the follower of the events will realise that the Hay'a was the Turkish implement (directly or indirectly) to be free of the ongoing threats of the jihadists towards the international agreements. So here the disagreement between the Hay'a and the So Be Steadfast room is the rejection of submission to the international conspiracies and subordination to secularist Turkey. This cannot be considered a disagreement of initiative but rather a disagreement of aqeeda that has what comes after it if the Hay'a remains on what it is today! And from the things that refute the words of some that the disagreements between the two groups are upon authority, wealth and arms etc. is the fact that most of the amirs and cadres of the formations of the So Be Steadfast room were among the senior amirs and Shari'is in the days of Jabhat al-Nusra, like Sheikh Abu Himam the amir of Hurras al-Din and Dr. Sami al-Oraidi the general Shari'i of Hurras al-Din (and they did not enter the Hay'a) or the days of the Hay'a like Dr. Abu Abdullah Fakhr the amir of Jabhat Ansar al-Din and Abu al-Abd Ashida the amir of Tansiqiyat al-Jihad and Sheikh Abu Malek al-Talli the amir of Liwa al-Muqatileen al-Ansar. For all of these people left authority, wealth and power and preferred the life of scarcity in everything in terms of material and military matters and the lack of resources, in exchange for preserving the continuation of the jihad and rejecting the deviated course of the Hay'a.
As for Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, naturally I consider that the leadership of the Hay'a has deviated in terms of the aqeeda and manhaj towards irja' and especially political irja', and that goes back in the beginning to the lack of their honesty in adopting the view of the jihadist movement from the beginning because Jowlani and some of the leaders who are with him entered under the cloak of al-Qa'ida in compulsion and fleeing from the oppression of Baghdadi but they were not convinced or attracted to the jihadist movement that was embodied in the Khorasani leaders whose martyrdom we witnessed one after the other in the bombing of the Crusader coalition against them. So the leadership of the Hay'a- represented in Jowlani- is not from the outset from the graduation of the school of al-Qa'ida and Khorasan that graduated for us most of the steadfast leaders of the jihad, but rather Jowlani was from the graduation of the school of Iraq represented in Baghdadi and his tazkiya was from the second leader in the Dawla at the time Abu Ali al-Anbari. And therefore we see that the manhaj of the Dawla is reflected on the conduct of Jowlani even after he separated from them, in terms of following the policy of marginalising and oppressing those who disagree, love of authority and conflict for it, and hastening in appointing himself as trustee over the Muslims. And therefore I say that the leadership of the Hay'a entered the jihadist movement on one of the times for the sake of protection and gaining legitimacy from the global Salafi jihadist movement after their disagreement with the Dawla. So this matter pleased them and they were carried away behind the slogans of al-Qa'ida and the jihadist movement, until they clashed with the internal and external waves of pressure upon them and the Crusader coalition began with targeting of some of the central bases, camps and leadership personalities inside the Jabha. And here we are before two possibilities:
a) The leadership of the Hay'a (represented in Jowlani and those around him) were adhering to the manhaj of irja' since the beginning and hated the jihadist movement and awaited the right opportunity to turn against Qa'idat al-Jihad and complete the irja' project that it aims to establish (and this does not conflict with Jowlani's being influenced by the marginalising school of Baghdadi because the conduct is one despite the difference of the projects between them).
b) Or the leadership of the Hay'a was an embodiment of a group of enthusiasts and zealots who took delight in the force and power of Qa'idat al-Jihad and the jihadist movement so they rode this wave and began anointing themselves with its leadership and singing the praises of its manhaj. Then when the internal and external campaign began against them and they were placed on the international terrorism list, they were unable to bear costs of being affiliated with the Qa'idat al-Jihad group, so they were afflicted with a contrary reaction that took them towards political irja' step by step, and they began justifying everything they do under interest and corruption in order to be at east and avoid the burden of global confrontation with America.
And on that basis the compromises began bit by bit, so either they were compromises pre-meditated and prepared for in advance, or they are comprises arising from ignorance of thought, movement and manhaj among the leadership of the Hay'a. And the first of the compromises and the most dangerous of them was the breaking of the allegiance pledge and breaking the connection with al-Qa'ida and deceiving the cadres and soldiers of the Hay'a and even some of the leaders that the connection was broken with the approval of Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri. Then the contrary of that appeared. Then the compromises continued that were embodied in the opening of relations with the secular Turkish government and the implementation of the Astana agreement began in a gradual sense as it began with the insertion of three Turkish points into Idlib without heavy weapons and the number did not exceed 100 soldiers of the secular Turkish army, and it was claimed that they are under the authority of the Hay'a. Then the points were extended to six points then extended to 12 points, then these points transformed into huge military bases and the heavy Turkish weaponry entered along with huge numbers of the secular Turkish army and with it entered tanks, armoured vehicles, artillery and other things besides that. And the number of the secular Turkish army in Idlib has become greater than the number of the Hay'a itself!
At the same time, the Hay'a was besieging and implementing the military and economic stranglehold on the jihadists represented in the And Rouse the Believers operations room in general and Hurras al-Din in particular as it was always provoking them with arbitrary arrests against their personnel and cadres and obstructing their military operations against the criminal regime and preventing the factions from supporting the room with money and arms, while threatening them in the event they did that. Then all this ended with the Hay'a's fight against the So Be Steadfast operations room. Then the compromises continued such that they include the Hay'a's compliance with the Turkish negotiations with Russia and complying with its outcomes, like the imposition of the ceasefire in Idlib and fighting the jihadist groups and allowing the joint Russian-Turkish patrols to proceed. Part of what shows that is the thanks that was issued by the leadership of the Hay'a to the Turkish government in an official statement during the Moscow agreement that cannot be separated from the Sochi agreement! Then we notice the intense campaign by the Hay'a on most of the Islamic movements in Idlib- the ones deviating from it or the jihadists- and the arrest of some and pursuit of others.
And among the clear compromises also are the conditions that Jowlani placed on Hurras (which Hurras rejected) after the recent attack by the Hay'a in the mujahideen, and there was among the conditions the pan on Hurras from issuing statements of condolences to leaders of Qa'idat al-Jihad who are killed outside at the hands of the Crusader alliance and compelling Hurras to join the al-Fatah al-Mubin room affiliated with secular Turkey as a brihgade overseen by one of the most failing military officials in the Hay'a- Abu Hassan 600- and among the conditions also for the handing over of some of the leaders of Hurras to the Hay'a so that they may imprison them. Then Jowlani said: whoever does not accept these conditions, let him sit in his home or we will work on Hurras in an amni sense and Hurras will work upon us! And as though the matter is a game of children in the neighbourhood! And here one must note an important matter, and it is that the Hay'a in particular and the al-Fatah al-Mubin room in general is a failed room militarily! For behold how half of the liberated area fell and these factions could not regain control of any part of it even after the intervention of the secular Turkish army to help it. And here naturally we do not mean the soldiers who assaulted, participated and expended their blood in the battles, but we are speaking about failing military and administrative leadership or concording with the Sochi agreement! So now it cannot open one battle against the criminal regime without consultation of or permission of the secular Turkish army! And even before the recent military campaign of the regime on Idlib, Abu al-Abd Ashidda' mentioned in the famous video (lest the boat should drown) that the Hay'a knew two months ago of the existence of a military campaign on the village of Kafr Nabuda and it was asked to fortify the area, but the Hay'a's leadership was unable for lack of mazout for the vehicles!! And this is a simple example either of the failure of the leadership of the Hay'a or its cooperation in implementing the Sochi agreement! This not to mention the issue of the failure of military planning during the campaign of the criminal regime, when the area of the Sahel was ignored and the zealous youth were deployed in bone-breaking confrontations with the criminal regime without the existence of military tactics preserving the blood of the youth and inflicting massacres on the Nusayri enemy and bleeding it! For sometimes one hundred soldiers of the youth were martyred in one day and this is what happened in the battle of Tallat al-Hamamiat that the Hay'a entered for a day and a half then not one of the youth made it out! And if you were to ask the military officials what happened, they would tell you God decreed and what He willed, He did! Then the issue ends without recourse or accountability! So after this on what basis will the jihadists accept that they should enter under the disposition of the Hay'a or the al-Fatah al-Mubin room when the failure and military weakness among them have become clear?!
Then we see today more compromises through the press discussion that Abd al-Raheem Atoun- the head of the Shari'i council of the Hay'a- held with the Swiss paper Le Tempes when he stated that there is no problem between the Hay'a and the states besides Russia and Iran and he called for dialogue with them and specified the Crusader French government that wages war on Islam and the jihad and curses the Prophet (SAWS), and the words of Atoun include the lack of a problem between America and the Hay'a naturally! For he specified Russia and Iran as enemies of the Hay'a only! And these statements have what is after them if they are analysed and detailed. And there does not escape from us Atoun'd statement in the same interview that the Hay'a does not constitute a danger to the West and has no intention of operating outside Syria, and this is what increases the messages of reassurance to the West with the aim of getting near to them and making them accepted internationally!
And among the important reasons that have contributed to the deviation of the leadership of the Hay'a is the absence of the honest and steadfast Shari'i reference authority that can correct the path and preserve the correct compass direction, and that is because the Hay'a has marginalised most of the 'ulama of the jihadist movement and attacked them and distorted their image and overlooked the expertises of the seniors in the fields of jihad, and has been content with the opinions of their Shari'i officials whose disasters and corruption of their fatwas have become apparent to all. It has also made the Shari'i sector inside the Hay'a subject to the leadership and not the opposite! Meanwhile the amir decides and does what he likes then makes the Shari'i sector justify and cover for that decision, and the principle is supposed to be that the amir is subject to the Shari'i and not the opposite!
All of these things and many other derivative events that have happened make me say that the Hay'a's leadership has become deviant in aqeeda towards irja' and its undertaking of removal of Shari'i regulations for what it does, because most of what it does today contravenes the statements and aqeeda of the Hay'a in the beginning and Jabhat al-Nusra previously, especially the dealing with the Turks and considering them allies after they were America's stick in the region, and the permission of opening relations with them and the rest of the states despite the fact that it is currently a small group that the smallest international intelligence apparatus can penetrate, as a result of this dangerous opening up to dealing with states.
Has the jihad in the field of al-Sham become impeded as a result of the influence of the great powers like Turkey and Russia? Likewise we see recently the killing of many of the brothers at the hands of the American drone aircraft. What are the reasons for that and who is leaking information about the presence of the brothers?
Yes naturally the influence of the states like Turkey and Russia has had and still has a very big role in impeding the jihad in the field of al-Sham, for let us go back a number of years and see that many of the areas were liberated in Syria, like Aleppo, Ghouta, Deraa and Qalamoun and some neighbourhoods of Damascus, north Homs countryside, north Hama countryside and other places. Then the military force intervened from one side and international conspiracies from another, and Turkey was the false guarantor and the tamer of the factions especially in the north, and the first of the deals of selling and betrayal and the fall of areas in the hand of the regime by virtue of the international agreements was the operation of handing over Aleppo to the regime in exchange for the Turks' seizure of the areas of north Aleppo countryside from the Dawla group. So most of the fighters were withdrawn from the Aleppo front to the battle of Euphrates Shield! And Aleppo fell. And the policy of nibbling and ceasefires began to take effect in all the areas of Syria so all the regions of Syria were numbed with the ceasefire and that was by international orders to the leaders of the factions, then the military attack was made on an area and it would be seized, then there would be movement to the area following it. And the role of Turkey in these conspiracies has been to tame all the factions and make them affiliated with it and answering its orders and implementing the outcomes of the agreements that occur between Turkey and Russia.
And the greatest example of that is the imposition of the ceasefire on Idlib when the regime's battle against East Ghouta began, and even the leaders of the factions justify their forsaking of supporting Ghouta and the covering of their compliance with the ceasefire, as an internal war broke out that continued for around two and a half months, in which around 1000 soldiers of the Hay'a and National Front were killed and wounded, and days after the criminal regime managed to seize Ghouta the internal fighting in the north ended. And this shows that there was a Turkish-Russian plan to weaken the north area and to split the rank of the factions there! And this is what actually happened as many of the youth abandoned the jihad in the path of God, and among them those who travelled to Turkey, and among them those who were expelled from their villages and localities, and I note in particular the fighters of al-Ghab! And regrettably Jowlani made the field enter into the whirlpool of the internal conflicts and influence and control without oversight of the general situation for the field and what catastrophes would result from these bouts of infighting! And regrettably these bouts of infighting were under flimsy pretexts that Jowlani undertook after that!
So for example during the first fighting between the Hay'a and Ahrar the pretext was that Ahrar wanted to insert the secular Turks and enable them over Idlib, so the infighting actually happened but we were later surprised that the Hay'a inserted the Turks and enabled them and today the secular Turkish army has become the biggest force in the liberated areas! And during the second fighting with Zinki and Ahrar (the long fighting), the pretext was that the Zinki group wanted to insert forces form Euphrates Shield into their areas, and the fighting happened and the blood of hundreds of youth was spilled and the conciliation happened, and today we see Idlib and its villages teeming with bases of the Euphrates Shield like the Shamiya, the Hamzat, al-Sharqiya and others besides them! And peace be upon that blood that flowed under this pretext! And during the third fighting with Zinki and Ahrar, Jowlani came out in a visual interview after the fighting ended and the dismantling of those factions and said that the reason for the fighting is that the Zinki faction is a collaborator with the Russians and met with them and they were planning to hand over Aleppo countryside to the regime! And indeed the Hay'a possesses evidences for that! Then we were surprised that the Hay'a inserted Zinki into Aleppo countryside during the last campaign of the regime on Idlib! So how did Jowlani have confidence in inserting the Zinki faction into the area when it is a collaborator with the Russians?!! The final receipt was the killing and wounding of thousands of youth and the weakening of the internal force of the north and monopolisation of authority and hoarding everything for the interest of the Hay'a, and when the campaign began and the areas fell in the hands of the criminal regime this matter became clear!
And here I must affirm that all these behaviours and adolescent actions that Jowlani undertook: the al-Qa'ida organisation has nothing to do with them! For al-Qa'ida rejected this matter since the first fighting over the border crossing between the Hay'a and Ahrar, and issued an official statement rejecting the fighting and bloodshed and calling for subjection to the law of God, but Jowlani after the breaking of ties and the formation of the Hay'a, had been planning and implementing what was going through his head only, and likewise the subsequent infightings, the Hurras al-Din organisation and the And Rouse the Believers operations room rejected participation in them with any side and called for conciliation and prevention of bloodshed, because the result is known and that is the weakening of the internal rank and spilling of blood, then the leaders conciliate with each other and the quarrelling brothers return to their nature, but the receipt will be great from the blood of the youth of the Ummah!
As for the frequency of the targeting of the leaders of the jihad by the Crusader coalition, this is due to a number of reasons:
a) The existence of intelligence penetration inside the group in which that targeted leader is present.
b) The presence of spies on the ground affiliated with the Crusader coalition, pursuing this leader and gathering information and photos about him, then marking his place so the Crusader coalition can bomb him.
c) The presence of electronic penetration by the intelligence apparatuses used by that leader, like the mobile and laptop, and it can through that define the place of that leader and target him.
d) The presence of some cases of negligence on the part of some of the leaders targeted by the Crusader coalition, and this negligence is in the frequency of contact on the Internet or indulgence in defining appointments or indulgence in the issue of many people knowing what this leader looks like or the place of his residence or the type of his car, etc.
This in summary is among the reasons for the frequency of the killing of the jihadist commanders- may God accept them- at the hands of the Crusader coalition (may God destroy it).
But here one must note an important issue in this matter and it is the principle: 'The one who is free from punishment destroys discipline.' And here I am speaking about the issue that the Hay'a does not execute any collaborator with the coalition at all and publicise it as the al-Qa'ida branch in Yemen has done for example? For this makes the spies be deterred somewhat or reduce their work on the ground! But in Idlib they operate freely because of the lack of publicization or issuing of videos about collaborators of the Crusader coalition! So we notice for example there are releases by the Hay'a about the pursuit and killing of cells of the criminal Dawa'esh and this makes the Khawarij be deterred somewhat! But until now there are no releases of pursuing and killing against spies of the coalition despite the killing of dozens of the leaders of jihad at the hands of the coalition. And there is no power or force except in God!
Also I must mention the incident of al-Sheikh al-Qassam (may God accept him) who was the military amir of Hurras al-Din. He caught Abu Mariya al-Qahtani- one of the senior leaders of the Hay'a- photographing him and his car, and at the time al-Qahtani gave the pretext that he was catching Dawa'esh and he suspected the sheikh's car! Then a week later an IED blew up on al-Qassam's car and he and his wife were wounded. Then some time later he was targeted by the aircraft of the Crusader coalition and he was martyred- may God have mercy on him! And here I do not direct the accusation at anyone but I give an example of the extent of the languor of the Hay'a in pursuing and punishing the spies of the coalition, but indeed also of the efforts of some of its leaders to target the leaders of the jihad!
How can the mujahideen in the field of al-Sham correct the course especially amid the great pressure against them?
The jihad in the path of God is not connected with a group or organisation and remains until the Day of Judgment by the permission of God, and naturally what has befallen the mujahideen in Idlib is a great catastrophe. But despite that the mujahideen can put in order the matter and correct the course again by steadfastness on the aqeeda and manhaj and continuing the jihad and rejecting the compromise or submission to any humiliating conditions the people of error try to put in place today. And also there must be patience, for indeed steadfastness requires patience over the hardship of this dreary course filled with tribulations and trials so whoso is not patient and does not await, will not be able to be steadfast.
This is so in addition to the fact that the mujahideen must be cautious in this time and be keen to preserve themselves far from the eyes of the criminals, and with all this the mujahideen must be keen to undertake preparation in physical body, thought and activity in readiness for the coming state that I will consider will be more difficult and intense than all that has gone before, so patience requires patience and steadfastness requires steadfastness.
Finally what are your expectations regarding the jihad in the field of al-Sham in the long run?
What I expect for the field of al-Sham in general is the return of the spread of guerrilla warfare and the broadening of its focal points and the lack of their confinement to Deraa and Deir az-Zour, but indeed they will spend much by the permission of God because the people have realised that this is the most useful solution in confronting a Nusayri regime supported by all the states of the world.
As for the fate of the field in Idlib, I will not conceal my worry and my expectations for what will happen, and I will mention here a realistic example. Currently there has been to become frequent the talk about the political process in Syria and the solutions of mutual agreement between the regime and opposition and meetings of negotiations have begun to occur between the secular Coalition delegation and the delegation of the criminal regime. So let us suppose that these negotiations succeeded and there was agreement on a specific thing, so Turkey immediately will pressure the factions of the National Army affiliated with it so that they should acknowledge these negotiations and bless them and also in north Aleppo countryside there will be a scenario resembling the Deraa scenario, so the National Army goes into a state of regularisation with the Nusayri army and the area is handed to the regime. And the one who rules out this possibility, we say to him here are Deraa and north Homs countryside, there has happened in them the scenario after all ruled out the occurrence of the likes of this heinous matter!
And indeed this matter makes us feel worry because of the multiple and repeated lines of news about the nearness of the occurrence of a national project that brings together the Hay'a with the National Army in a unified military and civilian entity and regrettably there are arrangements occurring right now to proceed with this project. For the number of brigades has been counted and the Turks have had review of most of the information of the Hay'a and its bases and camps and there has only remained some matters, among which is the portfolio of merging the Hay'a's security apparatus with its national counterpart, and this is what obstructs the matter currently. And indeed the success of the rise of this project will facilitate Turkey's gaining of free rein over Idlib and Aleppo countryside in an entire sense and free rein over the new national project however it will by virtue of it being one entity. If Turkey could compel it to accept the negotiations that are occurring between the Coalition delegation and the regime, it will then be the judge (God forbid)!
I repeat that this scenario is not ruled out and there are realistic examples that occurred in the areas of Syria by the same way, and we hope that will not happen, but the fact that the Turkish steps are proceeding rapidly and the fact that there is strong nearness on the part of the Hay'a to the Turks and the West: these things suggest a bitter end to this group and other groups in error besides it, but the mobilising of jihad in the path of God will remain established in the land of al-Sham by the permission of God and the honest mujahideen will pass through the stage of subsiding and absorption of the shock (what is happening these days is its beginning), then patience and sincere work, then the spreading of guerrilla groups of the mujahideen anew. And this means a comprehensive reorganisation of the jihad in al-Sham and the highest and loftiest aim will remain bringing down this criminal regime and implementing the rule of the law of God and continuing the jihad until the liberation of Bayt al-Maqdis and supporting the oppressed Muslims in every place if God wills.
This is so and God Almighty knows best, and praise be to God the Lord of the Worlds.