Former Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) leader Abdel Moeen Mohamed Kahal, known as Abu al-Abd Ashidaa, who now leads the group Jihad Coordination, has announced the graduation of a new batch of elements affiliated with his organization.
According to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), Ashidaa recently published a video showing the weapons training of a group of militants in the countryside of Idlib, which is considered a challenge to HTS.
HTS, meanwhile, has recently started to clamp down on other factions, including the parallel operations room known as “So Be Steadfast” in Idlib, which included Jihad Coordination.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Ashidaa’s group is one of the most important rivals for HTS in Idlib after the Hurras al-Din (Guardians of Religion) organization.
Ashidaa had announced the formation of his new faction under the name Jihad Coordination in February, which two weeks ago had joined the So Be Steadfast operations room alongside Hurras al-Din, Ansar al-Din Front, Ansar al-Islam Front, and Ansar Fighters Brigade.
Ashidaa is from Aleppo and his name first appeared in the media in 2014 when Ashidaa’s Mujahideen Brigade appeared and carried out many terrorist operations in Aleppo.The organization’s first appearance was when it broadcast a video of its members beating two shop owners in Aleppo because their stores were not closed at the time of Friday prayers.
Recently, Ashidaa had managed to strengthen his group in Aleppo because of his strong relationship with the other factions in the region.
He had been responsible for the organization’s prison in Aleppo until 2017, which is HTS was founded, and his organization was one of the first to join HTS in Idlib.
He assumed the position of judiciary official in HTS, but relations between him and HTS leader Abu Mohammad al-Julani deteriorated in 2019 following the expulsion of some of those close to his, and then he split from HTS to establish his new organization.