Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the jihadist group in Syria that has broken away from al-Qaeda’s formal command, appears to have arrested the leaders of its splinter group that retained allegiance to al-Qaeda on 27 November. The arrests were first reported by pro-Qaeda media and later by HTS itself. HTS released a statement on the matter yesterday evening, “For the judicial authorities will be the decisive word,” which was translated by Al-Maqalaat and is reproduced below with some syntactical edits.
For a fuller explanation of the context of these arrests see here.
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All praises to Allah who said, “Allah loves not the utterance of harsh speech, except by one who has been wronged. And Allah All-Hearing and All-Knowing.” Peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah and his family and all of his companions.
As for what follows:
Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham has strived since it has been launched to establish a Sunni entity which gathers the capacities of the people of Syria to repel the transgressing enemy, and to represent the revolution of the people of Syria in a way that suits them. It sacrificed the costly and precious to achieve this noble goal. Some frantic people—may Allah guide them and forgive them—with their limited sight and narrow vision were against this course from the beginning. And they did not stop there. Rather, they strived hard to crush and shake this building and spread turmoil and rumours in it under several excuses and different methods, which have reached the level of lies and defamation.
The leadership tried to contain the situation by dialogue and discussion. There has been meeting after meeting to explain the matter in the hope that they would step back, but to no avail. The scholarly reconciliation initiative was launched [on 25 October]; we implemented our position practically on the actual ground, with meetings held far away from the glare of the media and its incitements. But they refused—and with strange obstinacy—to even sit [with HTS], despite the repeated calls. They threw against the wall every call to calmness.
They exploited the preoccupation of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, which was busy defending against the transgressing Rawafid and Khawarij and the heated current situation of the fronts; not to incite towards ribat and jihad, but to demoralize and disappoint the youth through the spread of specious arguments that in the end conclude by judging a Sunni mujahid gathering, which performs the obligation of our time, as deviant and corrupt. This during a time in which we need unity of word and rank the most.
And due to the increasing harm and evil which these gatherings caused, they were informed that the matter will be brought before judicial authorities if the attempts for reconciliations failed. The situation could not be left hanging without resolution. So the leadership of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, departing from their obligation towards the arena and towards its soldiers, to prevent the arena from slipping into dangerous consequences, and after the road to desired reconciliation was blocked, presented a list calling the heads of turmoil to a just shari’a court, which will show the reality. And the case is now with the judicial authorities to come with its decisive word.
In conclusion, we would like to explain that a project for which blood is spilled, people are displaced and souls are taken, we will not neglect its protection and its defense with every legitimate method. And we will not allow irresponsible, abusive hands to spread harm and evil from the people of exceedance or the people of abandonment.
Allah is the granter of success. And all praises are due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.