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“Al-Julani”: We Agree to Turkey’s Approach to Control East of the Euphrates

Abu Mohammad al-Julani, Commander-in-Chief of “Tahrir al-Sham” (Amjad Media)                  

Abu Mohammad al-Julani, Commander-in-Chief of “Tahrir al-Sham” (Amjad Media)                  

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Abu Mohammad al-Julani, Commander-in-Chief of “Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham” (HTS), declared his support for Turkey’s approach to control areas in east of the Euphrates, in a striking statement corresponding to Ankara’s preparations to launch a military operation.

“We agree to the approach seeking to liberate east of the Euphrates,” al-Julani said, appearing on the Awareness and Guidance program, posted by Amjad Media agency today, Monday (January 14).

In the interview which Enab Baladi monitored, al-Julani said: “The Kurdistan Workers’ Party is an enemy to the revolution, and it is seizing areas’ resided by a massive number of Sunni Arab. We believe that it is necessary to remove this party.”

“We cannot hinder such an action,” he added.

Al-Julani’s comments have a unique nature, as they followed the expansion of “Tahrir al-Sham’s” control area in Idlib governorate and western rural Aleppo on the disadvantage of the factions of the “National Front for Liberation.”

They corresponded to talks about Idlib governorate’s fate in the upcoming days, with the arrival of Turkish military reinforcements in Hatay province, adjacent to Idlib in the north.

“The Russian and Iranian enemies do not need to enter any of these areas, for here is Daraa, Ghouta and rural Homs, which have not been controlled by Tahrir al-Sham but by moderate factions,” al-Julani said.

“We are a part of the Syrian revolution, and we do not want to tighten our grip on people’s necks, but we are concerned with the proper course under the sharia of Allah,” he added.

Since its formation, “Tahrir al-Sham” adopted one style in presenting its statements, for they were not directed only at the inside, Syrians and its affiliate personnel, but they also targeted the sphere outside Syria and the international community despite the “enmity” it had in store for the latter, describing it as the “infidel west.”

Last October, “Tahrir al-Sham” expressed its approval of the “Sochi” deal, which it presented in a manner strange to itself, for a massive range of its former terms were relinquished and substituted by others, in an attempt to satisfy the currents inside Syria and clarify its new policy to the external world.

The basic point that “Tahrir al-Sham” hinted at, in an answer statement to the “Sochi” deal, was the thanks it indirectly offered Turkey, being the principal side to the deal signed with Russia.

“Tahrir al-Sham” stated: “We appreciate the efforts of those inside and outside Syria, seeking to protect the liberated areas, preventing their invasion and committing massacres in them,” warning against the “the elusive Russian occupation or trusting its intentions.”

The destiny of the areas in east of the Euphrates has not been declared to the day after the U.S. decided to withdraw its forces from Syria, while Turkey continues to deploy reinforcements to the Syrian borders and the vicinity of Manbij city is witnessing movements on the part of the Syrian regime and Russia.

In August 2018, the Turkish Presidency classified “Tahrir al-Sham” as a “terrorist organization.”

This classification was stated in a Presidential decree, published in the official newspaper and conformed with the United Nations’ resolution in September 2018, providing for adding “Tahrir al-Sham” to the list of individuals and organizations, whose assets are to freeze, due to their affiliation to “Al-Qaeda” and the “Islamic State” (IS) organization.

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