Tahrir al-Sham: Al-Qaeda’s latest incarnation in Syria

Abu-Jabir,

The Syrian jihadist group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS), known as al-Nusra Front until it broke off formal ties with al-Qaeda last July, has merged with four smaller Syrian factions and rebranded itself as “Tahrir al-Sham”.

The new group’s leader has been named as Hashim al-Sheikh, who previously served as the head of the powerful Islamist rebel group, Ahrar al-Sham.

Ahrar al-Sham itself has refused to join the new body and has been at loggerheads with JFS in northern Syria.

On 9 February, al-Shaikh delivered the group’s first leadership message in which he insisted the new entity was independent and not an extension of former organisations and factions.

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