Deputy Commander of Ahrar al-Sham to Nidaa Post: Reaching a single system of governance for the liberated areas is an inevitable necessity.
Ahrar al-Sham, a very well known faction in Syria has been going through several ongoing disputes internally which began during the year 2020. Since then, there have been division and turmoil within its ranks and many solutions have been brought up but none yet executed properly to end their troubles.
The leadership council for Ahrar al-Sham recently decided to put Amer al-Sheikh as the new leader and he was assigned to form a new council that would be consensual between the opposing parties within the group. The leadership council was formed in April consisting of 12 individuals, including some leaders. This council was then restructured in early July with the aim of preserving its cohesion and continuity.
In an interview with the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the group, Abu Muhammad al-Shami, mentioned that Ahrar al-Sham has had its ups and downs, just like other factions, and they bear total responsibility for it.
He also mentioned that during the recent internal conflict, some personalities and soldiers had left the group but this would not exceed 250, stating that certain reports were incorrect. At the same time, he underlined the significance and importance of each fighter guarding the fronts against Assad’s forces. He then added that the right measures are being taken by the group to prevent any other members from leaving.
Abu Muhammad then stated that the group had gone through several stages of conflicts, against fighting the regime as well as other factions, draining its power and strength within the process. But he claimed that they had worked hard and are in the process of overcoming the issues they face, hoping to solve them completely very soon.
He then said, “Due to the loss of control of several areas of the revolution in Syria and the growing threat from the regime, Russia and Iran to Idlib, the movement restructured itself based on the new reality in protecting the liberated areas as a priority according to its ability and capabilities.” He also said that they have resorted to avoiding all internal conflicts because of the great damage that it will bring to the revolution.
He went on to say that the movement’s main military presence is in the Idlib region, which is the first and most important line of defense for all liberated areas. This is where its brigades are spread out and stationed working alongside other factions in the Fathul Mubeen Operations Room. Other than that, he said they also have units operating in the areas of northern Aleppo, alongside the National Army.
Speaking on the last Russian military campaign on Idlib and its surroundings, Abu Muhammad mentioned about the great need for a unified military operations room, which was formed during the beginning of the campaign. After the campaign was over, the factions met again to strengthen and organize this operations room even further by centralizing the command structure. He saw having the old method of decentralized command and every faction operating individually may lead to the same issues faced before the unified operations room was established.
He concluded by saying, “What is the project that the entire liberated areas need in order to ensure the survival of the revolution geographically, politically and militarily? On the one hand, we see the necessity of reaching a single system of governance for the liberated areas, in which all active revolutionary institutions and forces participate. As objective reasons, the revolution cannot be preserved without the integration of its regions at all levels, and this requires the cooperative and united efforts of all parties involved.”