Ahrar al-Sham and Hayaat Tahrir al-Sham Clash.. Apparent and Hidden Reasons

Eldorar Alshamia Editor | 8 March, 2017


Eldorar Alshamia:

Clashes between Ahrar al-Sham and Hayaat Tahrir al-Sham in Al-Mastumah town in Idlib countryside ended on Monday, with the withdrawal of Ahrar al-Sham from the camp area and the control of HTS over it, then quiet atmosphere spread all over the prts of Idlib province, while media debates continue between supporters of the two parties.

Official Narratives of the Parties

Islamic Ahrar al-Sham Movement according to an official statement it issued on Monday,  accused HTS of harness military and media efforts throughout the period that followed the formation of HTS to target the movement and shake its cohesion, through media propaganda promoting fake splits, so observer will think its in thousands, going to HTS, and then legitimizing taking the Movement's property and arms, ending with armed aggression against the Movement's headquarters and warehouses in many systematic accidents.

HTS responded to Ahrar al-Sham statement by accusing Ahrar al-Sham of favoring its organizational interest and the determination to keep itself in a separate entity, and a stumbling block in the face of a full arena unity, and distancing from the combined entity.

In exclusive statements to Eldorar Network Omran Muhammad, media relations official in the political office of Ahrar al-Sham said: "The clashes in Al-Mastumah were preceded by several attacks of HTS against Ahrar al-Sham sites, most notably al-Olabi Factory in west countryside of Aleppo, and manufacturing workshops in Saraqib, Maarrat Misrin, and Salqin."

"HTS insisted on controlling al-Olabi Factory, due to the presence of electrical transformers near, and knowing that the Syrian regime will allow the passage of electricity from the area toward the city of Aleppo, which means that it is seeking to control electrical energy entering the liberated areas, and will get levies as it's doing in Telmennis in Idlib countryside, where it set the price per Amp 3,500 Syrian pounds, although the regime is pumping electricity to the area 12 hours a day. " Omran added.

Concerning the attack of the manufacturing workshops, HTS utilized some operating elements in the workshops as a pretext to control it, relying on fatwas by one of their sheikhs, named "Abu al-Yaqzan" allow the elements who left their factions to go to HTS with arms and property as it is the largest faction in Syria, and this is not true, Omran explained.

And the reasons for the outbreak of clashes in Al-Mastumah Omran stressed that they fought former elements of Jund al-Aqsa, joined HTS, and they want to restore the region because they lost it during the previous battles with Ahrar al-Sham.

HTS media relations official Imad al-Din Mujahid refused to make statements to our network about the issue, or comment on the events.

Hidden reasons

Eldorar Alshamia Network conducted dialogues with figures have information about the internal situations of the two factions, in order to get closer to the causes of the recent clashes, and earlier skirmishes.

Sheikh Saleh al-Hamwi, one of the founders of the former Jabhet al-Nusra in exclusive statements said that the commander of HTS, "Abu Jaber al-Sheikh" and its military commander, "Abu Mohammed al-Joulani" have certain goals they want to achieve from such attacks.

Al-Hamwi confirmed that two people close to HTS-refused to name them- recently met Abu Jaber Al-Sheikh and al-Joulani separately, where "al-Sheikh" confirmed in the meeting that their priority is dismantling of Ahrar ash-Sham, whether by media, fatwa, or power, and they will take Bab Al-Hawa crossing from them and deliver it to Failaq al-Sham as a front, but the real management is by HTS.

"The reason Abu Jaber is following this path is that he considers his project in Jaysh al-Ahrar failed, and has a large ire and wants revenge, and also justify it that Ahrar al-Sham deviated, and must be terminated." al-Hamwi added.

According to al-Hamwi, al-Joulani spoke in front of the same two figures during the meeting it is essential to continue to crack down on Ahrar al-Sham, the goal is not dismantling it entirely, but pressuring on it until forced to integrate, because that would rule out the classification of HTS in his opinion, and lead to a solution the financial crisis experienced by receiving a share of Bab Al-Hawa crossing.

Al-Hamwi considered that sheikhs Abdulla al-Mhisni, Abu Al-Harith al-Masri, and Abu Maria al-Qahtani playing a major role in alleviating tensions with other factions, and enter in daily clashes with the leadership of HTS in order to stop them.

Al-Hamwi denied that Abu Maria al-Qahtani involved in the attacks, saying he had lost control of the "Shaetat group" five months ago, and it was Mazher al-Weis who gave them a fatwa to attack Suqor al-Sham, where al-Qahtani refrained from giving them a fatwa to fight.

Islamic scholar Rami Dalati attributed recent developments to the formation of Jaysh al-Ahrar, one of Ahrar al-Sham components previously, put off its clash with Ahrar al-Sham, due to his fear of losing the battle when it was alone, currently backed by the new formation, and the evidence according to his opinion that the most important incidents of the recent assault were by formations of Abu Saleh Tahan and Abu Jaber al-Sheikh, which explains the arrival of the attacks to areas supposed to be secret and unknown like manufacturing workshops.

Dalati does not think that what is happening goal is to push Ahrar al-Sham to a merger, stressing that according to his knowledge al-Joulani believed wanted the unification of the political decision, without real integration.

Revolutionary and Popular discontent

Activists on social networks expressed great resentment of recent events, saying they were afraid of the fall of the most important strongholds of the Syrian revolution as a result of the recent clashes.

The media activist, Maged Abdel Nour, said in a tweet: "The conflict in Idlib  is not a revolution conflict, not conflict of the law of God, and not supporting the oppressed conflict, but it is a struggle of influence and fake emirates, and will not be long on Assad, unfortunately."

Orient Channel correspondent Mohammed al-Faisal said: "factions never differ for the sake of the revolution, nor Jihadi factions for the sake of jihad .. tyranny and ruling are your demands."

Apart from the causes of the fighting, and the stories cited by the parties, however, agreed with the majority of the population of the liberated areas in the north and the Syrian Revolutionary institutions that further clash could cost dearly, similar to what happened in the eastern Ghouta and the city of Aleppo.