HTS makes rival jihadis in Syria’s Idlib take Sharia programs, quit weapons

ALEPPO, Syria — Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which controls Idlib province in northwestern Syria, reached a safety settlement settlement with the Jundallah group, which HTS calls Abu Fatima al-Turki.

According to the settlement that was introduced Nov. 7 through Telegram, Jundallah’s operatives should hand over their private weapons to HTS and endure a Sharia coaching course underneath the supervision of the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP). They will probably be allowed to stay as civilians in HTS-controlled areas.

An official near HTS who spoke on situation of anonymity instructed Al-Monitor, “HTS leadership decided to close the chapter on Jundallah by imposing a new settlement, forcing its operatives to hand over all their weapons and undergo mandatory Sharia courses to correct their Sharia perception in several matters, and point out the breaches they committed.”

“The organization’s members who fought HTS during its attack on their strongholds in Jabal al-Turkman area were granted amnesty and the public litigation against them was dropped. Those who face personal charges by civilians were referred to the Sharia judiciary to look into the different cases,” he added.

The supply mentioned, “The terms of the new settlement are already being implemented. Jundallah’s operatives surrendered all their weapons, and the Sharia courses have already been arranged for them and will last for several weeks. Upon completion of the courses, the organization’s members will have two choices: either join the ranks of fighting factions such as HTS or lead their lives as civilians.”

HTS had beforehand launched a army marketing campaign in opposition to Jundallah in Jabal al-Turkman space within the northern countryside of Latakia on the finish of October, which drove the group out of the realm after having concluded an settlement with HTS underneath the TIP auspices.

The first settlement on Oct. 29 between the 2 sides included the cessation of battles and Jundallah fighters’ evacuation from the Jabal al-Turkman space through closed vehicles. They had been allowed to carry on to their mild private weapons corresponding to rifles, whereas their heavy arms had been handed over to HTS.

The settlement additionally included the discharge of detainees on each side, and the questioning and investigation of accused Jundallah members, putting them underneath home arrest at TIP army barracks till a complete settlement is reached.

HTS seems to have managed to efficiently eradicate Jundallah. The implementation of the final settlement settlement’s phrases means dissolving the group and forcing its members to desert their extremist concepts in response to HTS view, which labeled the group as takfiri.

HTS, for its half, is taken into account a terrorist group by the United States, Turkey and Russia.

Even after ending the Sharia programs, Jundallah members will stay underneath HTS safety management in a bid to stop any makes an attempt on their half to hunt revenge by becoming a member of the Islamic State (IS) ranks, which perform bombings and assassinations infrequently in Idlib.

A former member of Jundallah who is predicated in Idlib instructed Al-Monitor on situation of anonymity, “The organization’s members agreed to withdraw from their last pocket in the Jabal al-Turkman area and later to a settlement with HTS to stay alive. There are only about 50 members left. A big number of them were killed in HTS’ major military campaign against them at the end of October.”

“HTS seemed serious in wanting to finish Jundallah, and it sought to do so through the large military buildup and an organized media campaign, accusing its members of being bandits and takfiris that are no different from IS fighters. This prompted many Jundallah members to realize that they lose their battle in the face of HTS,” he added.

“HTS insists on implementing the settlement settlement’s phrases, particularly in relation to the Sharia programs underneath TIP supervision, which is seen as near HTS. But I don’t suppose that Jundallah’s members will quit the armed motion and stay as regular civilians. I feel they are going to largely be a part of different factions, whether or not TIP or Answar al-Tawhid, each near HTS,” the supply mentioned.

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