Ayman al-Zawahiri, the chief of Al-Qaida, had previously opposed the creation of a Syrian Islamic emirate in the areas controlled by the Al-Nusra Front and its allies. Today he supports the idea, believing that the conditions on the ground would allow this.
With this in mind, he is reported to have sent a delegation of leaders from his group to the Idlib province in order to assess the feasibility of the project. Among the delegation was Saif al-Adel, a former colonel of both the Egyptian Special Forces and Egyptian Islamic Jihad. He was accused by the American government of having participated in the 1988 US embassy bombings in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and in Nairobi (Kenya).
Imprisoned in Iran, Saif al-Adel was apparently released in 2015, along with four other Al-Qaida members, within the framework of an exchange of prisoners with AQAP (Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula) and the Taliban.
An Arab Spring which is on the right track…
In a message broadcasted last May, Ayman al-Zawahiri declared: “Syria today represents hope for the faithful….the only Arab Spring revolution which is on the right track”. He also declared that jihadi fighters should unite “to defeat the war machine of the eastern and western crusades” and that this is “a matter of life or death for them”. He added that the West “aims to create a regime in Syria which will appear to be Islamic but which will be based on a corrupted version of Islam”. And he described the members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an organisation which he considers to be illegitimate, as “extremists” and “renegades”…
The entire world has risen up against Muslims
The initiative taken by Ayman al-Zawahiri is backed by Hamza ben Laden – the 23 year-old son of Osama – who also urged all jihadi fighters to unify their ranks, stating that “there are no longer any excuses for those who still want to argue and divide, now that entire world has risen up against Muslims…”
Hamza ben Laden reminded jihadi fighters that the purpose of their combat is the “liberation of Al-Qods” and that “the path to the liberation of Palestine is today shorter thanks to the revolution in Syria”.
The Al-Nusra Front, led by Abou Muhammad al-Joulani, has not yet come to a decision because its allies within the Jaish al-Fatah (The Army of Conquest, which comprises several Islamic groups) fear that news of the creation of an Islamic state in the Idlib province will lead to division in its ranks.
Translated from French
The original author was Gilles Munier
Source: France-Irak Actualité