Abstract: This paper focuses on the history and evolution of the group Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, beginning from its formation as the al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, to Jabhat Fatah alSham and, finally, the present form of Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham. Based on testimonies from high-ranking operatives, the article discusses the complex relationship of Jabhat al-Nusra, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham to al-Qaeda during the transformation and rebranding process. In addition, the paper examines how Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham operates on the ground, including relations with other factions and the approach adopted towards governance. Finally, the paper sheds light on the current state and future of Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham in the Syrian insurgency. Despite Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham's pre-eminent position in the remaining insurgent-held territories, the success and future viability of this project are highly questionable, particularly in light of its commitment to form a unified front for the insurgency and to push for a political revolution inside Syria.
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