Some might wonder why the Mujahideen are trying to reopen the front in Hamaa once again after it seemingly failed the last time. This is because we are only considering the military victory of liberating and controlling territory. However, in addition to the inflicted losses on the regime, the previous Hamaa campaign also sabotaged the Astana plots of the regime and Russia to implement the so-called de-escalation zones agreement which aims to provide them military relief and gives them the space to concentrate and focus their powers on one region and one enemy at a time. Instead of capturing territories the campaign was launched to revive the spirit of Jihaad more than anything else. It put the heinous facade of the so-called guarantees of the agreement in the spotlight, showing the people once again that they have no consideration what so ever for our lives as they deliberately bomb our hospitals, schools and markets. But most importantly, it exposed the stupidity and treachery of the corrupt factions who did not only gamble away the sacrifices of the Syrian people. Rather they even gambled away the lives of their own men as they shared their military positions with Russia, so that they could be included in the de-escalation zones, only to be bombed the first chance Russia got.
The previous campaign in Hamaa has exposed a lot of people who were once considered to be part of the revolution. Never have we seen so many people who claim to part of the revolution hope for a military campaign against the regime to fail. For they have surrendered and settled with a political solution which will re-establish the regime. As they trade the demand of freedom for the false promise of peace and stability, while re-labeling any armed resistance as terrorism that seeks to sabotage this peace and stability. If the Syrian people wanted regime imposed peace and stability they would not leave their houses in mass demonstrations against the regime while facing the bloody outcome of massacres, torture and bombardments. Gambling away these sacrifices would be a much bigger crime than the massacres themselves.
Every revolution has a counter-revolution, and unlike a popular revolution which manifests itself openly against the ruling corrupt powers, it is a reaction encompassing everyone who resists this major shift for various reasons. This creates a cocktail of very unlike people sharing the same trench. In Egypt we saw the Salafis ally with the nationalists, the liberals, the leftists and the Sufist because they all shared a similar hate and dislike for the Brotherhood. The same thing is happening in Syria. Those who were once in the ranks of the revolution turned against it and became part of the counter-revolution because of their love for authority and power and their dislike and grudge against the merger of Hay’at Tahrir Shaam.
The same way the hypocrites who claim to be Muslims start to share the trench of the disbelievers when the balance of power is forced to shift with all its drastic and harsh consequences. This is why we saw the once so-called friends of Syria gradually change their positions concerning the Syrian revolution in favor of the regime. Thus Turkey strengthened its political and economical ties with Russia and Iran as they visit each other, and even the Saudi king is making historic visits to Russia promising to combat terrorism together. Saudi Arabia and other treacherous puppet regimes already showed their servitude in re-establishing the deposed regimes in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Iraq, Mali and Yemen. We will not allow the counter-revolution to gain the upper hand over the Jihaad in the blessed land of Shaam.
When the Muslims gained victory in the battle of Badr and established a state in Madina the city poured in with hypocrites who wanted a share in this victory, but they were quickly exposed after that in the battle of Uhud and Al-Khandaq when things became tough. The same happened after the death of the Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam). Many apostates left the Religion before Allah granted the Muslims large scale victories against the Romans and Persians. For Allah does not grant the Muslims victory before purifying the ranks. This means that the vital victory does not come quick or easy, otherwise the ranks would be mixed, the truthful and pious with the hypocrites, apostates and corrupt alike. This is why Allah tests His servants, many have joined the Jihaad in Shaam when quick victories against the regime were gained. However only a portion of those who carried arms remain active on the fronts today, while the rest surrendered and settled for deceiving political solutions that empower the regime and its allies. Rather they are even willing to share the same ranks and trench against the Mujahideen, while hoping for any military offensive against the regime to fail.
We saw how that the Mujahid leaders including Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani were highly skilled in foiling the plots of the international and local foreign powers, always staying one step ahead of the counter-revolution. They prevented previous plots from being implemented on the ground in Syria, the latest being the sixth Astana agreement. Even if this means making certain sacrifices which are of a lesser harm to the Muslims and their revolution. There is a lot that can be sacrifices if necessary but the re-establishment of the regime is non-negotiable! A limited Turkish presence for example can be overlooked in Northern Syria if this keeps the international and local powers at bay for the time being. Much like ISIS overlooked the Turkish presence in their territory guarding- and eventually moving the Sulayman Shah tomb. A confrontation with the foreign powers is inevitable and the Mujahid leaders realize this very well. However such a confrontation must be postponed as much as possible until at least after the fall of Assad regime, this demands chameleon politics from us as a deterrent camouflage.
Using our weapons with intellect is as important as using them with sincerity. We should realize that this is no longer a limited regional conflict. After the liberation of Idlib we have trespassed the first and easy phase of the revolution which focused exclusively on the physical fall of the local puppet regime in Syria. However with the various regional and international interventions we have entered the second phase which also involves the political fall of the international hegemony in the region. This second phase demands a long breath and tremendous patience because it could prolong the war to the limits of desperation much like the historic wars of old. If the air strikes do not succeed we will without a doubt witness a ground invasion which will give us the opportunity to finally relief the Ummah of their slave shackles. For the deathbed of the international powers of disbelief lays waiting for them in Shaam like promised. They will drown and bleed to death in a war of attrition eating away their men and wealth. We have to prepare for this confrontation and must avoid any offshoot battle of secondary importance that exhausts our powers and weakens our strongholds and presence.
One of the successful strategies against the counter-revolution is the establishment of a civilian administration’s counsel in the liberated territories, which the Mujahideen tested successfully in Mali, Yemen and Libya before it was initiated in Syria. For the counter-revolution aims to win the people to their side against the Mujahideen, and one of the methods they use is the sabotage of public services to cause friction between the Mujahideen in charge over- and the residents living in the liberated territories. This happened in Egypt when the prices went up, the electricity cut off, the salaries delayed and criminality ignored by the deep-state during the short rule of Muhammad Morsi. Until the people eventually marched in large scale demonstrations against him within a year. However when the people are put in charge over their own affairs the counter-revolution faces the civilians themselves. This explains why the local foreign powers and their proxies tried to prevent this initiative in Syria, represented by the interim government in exile, the Syrian Islamic Council and the corrupt Astana factions.
The characteristic of a revolution is its focus on major issues and founding ideas while the counter-revolution focuses on partial matters and details. So you would find that a revolution focuses on the idea of freeing the people from the shackles of oppression, subjugation and corruption, while seeking to revive the concepts of identity, freedom, justice, sovereignty and independence. The counter-revolution however focuses on food prices, water and electricity, mismanagement and instability. You will therefore find the news pages filled with reports about the insecurity and poverty in which the people of the liberated territories are living. Thus the counter-revolution places itself in the position of the savior and the revolution in the corner of rejection and condemnation. However a civilian administration places the counter-revolution in a direct confrontation with the people instead of this misleading position.
This also explains the increase of assassinations on the Mujahid leaders and Mujahid preachers in the liberated territories, which aims to create a feeling of unsafety and insecurity in addition to the aim of crippling the leadership and silencing its message. The counter-revolution uses all kinds of methods to discredit, weaken and sabotage the revolution. Probably the most harmful to the merger of Hay’at Tahrir Shaam were the leaked communications.
The examples of the methods they use to sow division and discord are many. Right after Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani was re-appointed the leadership position Russia claimed in a weak and childish propaganda attempt that he and several other senior leaders were wounded or killed in Russian air strikes. This shows the extent of desperation they experienced when they got news of his appointment over Hay’at Tahrir Shaam. As they tried to reignite divisions and defections within the ranks knowing he is a unifying figure in the Syrian revolution, capable of redirecting and rectifying the course of the struggling merger. We also notice that Turkey always starts with threats to enter the liberated territories just before or during a military offensive against the regime, with the aim of creating of confusion and hesitance in ranks.
“Turkey is luring militants away from the Jihadist alliance that controls Syria’s northwestern Idlib province as a step toward implementing a deal to reduce violence there, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday. Cavusoglu said the first stage, already under way, was to separate “moderate rebels” from “terror organizations” – a reference to Nusra, which cut ties with al Qaeda last year, rebranded itself and now spearheads the Tahrir al-Sham jihadist alliance that dominates Idlib.
His comments endorsed remarks by a rebel source who said that efforts by foreign states were under way to encourage defections from the alliance, to break it up, isolate it and reduce its capacity to oppose any Turkish military deployment. “With regards to Nusra, they are working to weaken it through intelligence operations,” the source told Reuters. Those could include assassinations and campaigns to undercut the group’s popular support, the source said.”
There has been a lot of talk about the communication leaks between Hay’at Tahrir Shaam commanders which showed disregard for jurists within their own ranks including Shaykh Abdullah Al-Muhaysini who consequentially defected from the merger. The central command of Hay’at Tahrir Shaam has denounced these statements, they promised to correct and reform these mistakes, and one of the commanders in Idlib was sentenced to a month of imprisonment after making inappropriate statements in one of the leaked recordings. The obvious goal of these leaks was to cause harm to the merger and the Mujahid ranks and ultimately weakening the revolution. Unfortunately we indeed saw several negative and harmful consequences.
Looking closer at the leaked communications it becomes clear they weren’t obtained by coincidence. They have clearly been obtained systematically trough organized and professional efforts, by people who have insight in the communications network including intel about leadership positions within Hay’at Tahrir Shaam. This intel is so accurate that they were able to pinpoint their locations and identify the commanders by voice recognition. Hours of communications has been observed in weeks and months of efforts before they could obtain the sensitive minutes they used to defame the merger. They were published with accurate timing to coincide with the agenda of paving the way for a political solution and a national army while undermining the civilian’s administration initiative and the previous military preparations of the Mujahideen in Hamaa.
However the fact that these statements were made in secret shows that the commander was not able to make such statement in the open public, which proofs that he opposed the clear positions of the merger. It was therefore very much expected that the general leadership would condemn these statements right away. While other factions make such and worse statement in the open public because it is in line with their corrupt positions. Their leaders made much worse statements in public while this commander was jailed by the leadership for his infringements in secret. If these were the only individual infringements they could find after all of these efforts, which clearly opposed the general positions and principals of Hay’at Tahrir Shaam, imagine what dirt we would find if the same efforts were invested in exposing the hidden mistakes of the Astana factions who already openly and publicly show their corruption and treachery.
Fighting in one front against the enemies in a popular mobilization with all kinds of people from different social and theological segments of society means that you will hear and see a lot of things which will displease you as a Muslim. This popular fight is not to be compared with the fight of notables and the elite. You will see a lot of sins, a lot of infringements and a lot of deviations within the ranks and even leadership positions. This should be taken into account for it is an actuality we have to live with for now unfortunately. We should remain patient and overlook as much as possible as long as the general leadership follows the right guidance and upholds the correct positions and principals to the best of their abilities. Anyone who stays in the folds of Islam should be welcomed to fight besides us against our enemies.