Al-Julani’s Speech On Aleppo, Escalation Of Fights Against Syrian Army

Monday 12 June 2023 - 20:41

ISWNews Analysis Group – In a conference, commander of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham militants referred to Syria’s rejoining to the Arab League and some other issues, announcing a change in the tactics of clashes in Aleppo Governorate in the coming two years.

Some political analysts and military experts, who read Abu Mohammad al-Julani’s recent speech, said that the speech is a declaration of existence, and attributed the words to his weak position on the ground.

On May 27, Al-Julani address Aleppo refugees at a conference in Idlib that Aleppo is the gate of Damascus and it will be focused on in one or two years.

A month earlier, al-Julani also addressed Idlib tribal leaders that Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham is not weak and has the power to change the war equation.

The comments of the commander come at a time of serious military and political developments in Syria, including the normalization of Arab states’ relations with Syria, as well as Russia’s ongoing efforts to mediate the normalization of relations between Damascus and Ankara.

Since early June, northwestern Syria has witnessed an escalation of military clashes between Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and the Syrian army. In the shadow of the confrontations, Russian fighter jets intensified airstrikes against Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham’s positions.

Syrian military expert Brigadier General Ahmad Al-Rahal believes that whatever Al-Julani said about Aleppo is an attempt to divert public opinion.

There is confirmed information about Al-Julani’s meetings and coordination with Director of the National Security Bureau of Syria Ali Mamlouk, Head of Syria’s general intelligence directorate Hossam Louka and Russian military intelligence agents, the expert said, adding that the commander is also not unaware of Russia and Turkiye’s understandings.

Read more: Chief Of Syria’s General Intelligence Directorate Meet With Militant Commanders In Aleppo

He also noted that Al-Julani has realized that the roadmaps changed and it is possible that some areas of Idlib and Aleppo, along with border crossings, will be handed over to the Syrian government based on previous coordination and agreements to remove Al-Julani from the region.

Al-Julani wants to introduce himself as the godfather of the region and behaves as if he is the decision-maker and can control and manage the coordination steering wheel in all these areas, he said.

Al-Rahal added that the changes are in the hands of Russia and Turkiye, and Al-Julani cannot take unilateral action; and that he knows the moment he starts a battle against Russia, it will be his end.

Hossam Al-Baram, a Syrian analyst, opines that Al-Julani’s purpose and Turkey’s messages on Aleppo are clear, which is to find a safe environment for the return of Syrian refugees to areas under their control as well as to expand their territory in new areas, and turn them into an economic hub that helps them put pressure on the Syrian government and maintain their position in talks with Damascus.

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