Leading figures in the insurgent group Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, which is the dominant faction in the insurgent-held regions of Idlib and its environs, have long expressed admiration for the Taliban in Afghanistan and its efforts in the face of the Afghan government that was backed by the United States and other international actors. For them, the Taliban's recent victory in Afghanistan constitutes a victory for Muslims (i.e. Sunnis) and is an example of steadfastness in the face of a foreign occupation. Unsurprisingly, therefore, Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham has released its own official statement congratulating the Taliban and the 'people of the Afghans'. The statement highlights the Taliban's years of fighting as an inspiration for its own 'steadfastness', while also urging the international community to recognise that it should not support oppressive regimes against the will of the peoples who reject them. The statement concludes with a hope for victory to liberate Syria and implement Islamic law.
Below is the statement translated. Any parenthetical insertions in square brackets are my own.
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham
Blessing the Taliban and the people of the Afghans
Praise be to God the Lord of the Worlds, and the best prayers and most complete salutations be on our Prophet Muhammad (SAWS), and on all his family and companions. As for what follows:
With utmost joy and delight we received the news of the conquests of our people in Afghanistan, and their land's obtaining of freedom from the occupation and its agents at the hands of the Taliban- may God make their path right and aid them- so congratulations to the people of the Afghans for this clear conquest and great victory. Indeed truth is victorious even if it takes a while, for an occupier does not last on a usurped land whatever damage he inflicts on its people and whatever woes he makes them taste, for indeed truth does not vanish or die, and the hand of the oppressor will not be supreme, and history bears witness to the victory of the free will and firmly planted determination.
And we in the Syrian revolution draw inspiration for our steadfastness and constancy- after our putting reliance on God- from these living experiences and examples that bear witness to holding fast to the choice of resistance and jihad in order to obtain freedom and dignity embodied in bringing down the criminal regime and its aides, just as we are prompted alongside our people to reinforce the clinging to the choice of coming together and unity and laying aside difference, and likewise pride in our identity, civilisation and our affiliation.
And perhaps in this victory witnessed today is a lesson and opportunity for the international community and other states silent about the crimes of Bashar and his aides, as it should encourage them to support the will of the peoples and respect their demands and not stand alongside the flayer in confronting the free peoples.
We from Sham al-Ribat ['Sham of Frontline Manning'], bless our brothers of the Taliban and our people in Afghanistan for this clear conquest, asking the Lord to bless the Syrian revolution with strengthened victory, by which the land should be liberated, and the bond broken, with rights returning to their people, and justice prevailing in the shade of the Shari'a of al-Rahman [i.e. Islamic law of God].
And praise be to God the Lord of the Worlds.
10 Muharram 1443 AH (18 August 2021 CE).