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Rebel forces in the south of Syria (Quneitra) launched a massive strike on Syrian army positions several hours ago. These are rebel groups called the HTS. Short for Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham.
Launching their assault from Al-Samdaniyah Al-Sharqiyah and Al-Ba’ath City, the Syrian Arab Army managed to recapture all of the points they lost to the jihadist rebels over the last six days, while also advancing west towards new areas that weren’t under their control.
However, in the middle of this attack, the Syrian Arab Army found themselves under attack by an Israeli warplane at the Al-Samdaniyah Al-Sharqiyah axis, forcing them to abandon their advance in order to avoid an increase in casualties.
This is from Wikipedia, although there are many other reliable resources that corroborate this info.
Abu Mohammad Al-Julani
Ahmed Hussein al-Shar’a (Arabic: أحمد حسين الشرع), known by the nom de guerre Abu Mohammad al-Julani (Arabic: أبو محمد الجولاني), is the military leader of the Syrian militant group Tahrir al-Sham; he was also the emir of its predecessor organisation al-Nusra Front, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda. The US State Department listed Al-Julani as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” in May 2013, and four years later announced a $10 Million reward for information leading to his capture.
The phrase “Al-Julani” in his nom de guerre is a reference to Syria’s Golan Heights, partially occupied and annexed by Israel during the war in 1967. Al-Julani released an audio statement on 28 September 2014, in which he stated he would fight the “United States and its allies” and urged his fighters not to accept help from the West in their battle against ISIL
Early Life and Iraq War
Ahmad Hussain al-Sharaa was born in the village of Al-Rafid, Syria in the Quneitra Governorate in the Golan Heights. His father worked in the oil industry before he moved to Saudi Arabia to work in a number of companies there. His father published a number of books on economics. After several years, his father returned to Syria and opened a business near his residence in Damascus. His mother was a geography teacher and has an MA. He grew up in Damascus after his family were made refugees after Israel took the Golan Heights. He studied all his school years in Damascus. He studied media at university in Damascus. The Iraq war interrupted his studies and he left to join the insurgency in Iraq.
Once al-Julani moved to Iraq to fight American troops after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, he quickly rose through the ranks of al-Qaeda in Iraq, and reportedly was a close associate of its leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. After al-Zarqawi was killed by a US airstrike in 2006, al-Julani left Iraq, briefly staying in Lebanon, where he offered logistical support for the Jund al-Sham militant group. He returned to Iraq to continue fighting but was arrested by the US military and held at Camp Bucca. At that camp, where the US military held tens of thousands of suspected militants, he taught classical Arabic to other prisoners.
After his release from Camp Bucca prison in 2008, al-Julani resumed his militant work, this time alongside Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of the then Islamic State of Iraq (ISI). He was soon appointed head of ISI operations in Nineveh Province.
Syrian Civil War
Shortly after the uprising against the government of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad began in 2011, al-Julani played a lead role in planning and enacting a mission, as part of Islamic State of Iraq, to move into Syria and form a sub-branch of the organisation called Jabhat al-Nusra. This group was to act as a front for the Islamic State of Iraq, led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to whom he had his allegiance and whose command he was under. Al-Julani’s formation of Jabhat al-Nusra was facilitated by men, arms and money given to him by the ISI under the orders of Abu Bakr al-Baghdad. It is disputed whether al-Julani originally formulated the plan or if it came from another leader in Islamic State of Iraq. Julani was declared the “general emir” of al-Nusra, which was first announced in January 2012. By December 2012, the US Department of State declared Jabhat al-Nusra to be an officially designated terrorist organisation, noting that it was simply a new alias for Al-Qaeda In Iraq (aka Islamic State of Iraq). Under al-Julani’s leadership, Nusra grew into one of the most powerful rebel groups in Syria.
This blog post doesn’t even touch upon the Obama administration’s involvement in moving arms from Libya to ISIS. It also doesn’t touch upon the death of US Ambassador Stevens during a jihadist raid on a US embassy. But if you want to read about those two things, then this might interest you.
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