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Abu Jaber Shaykh
أبو جابر الشيخ
Birth name Hashim al-Shaykh
Nickname Abu Jaber Shaykh
Born 1968 (1968) (age 51)[1]
Place of birth Maskanah, Syria
Allegiance
Service/branch Tahrir al-Sham
Years of service 2011–present
Commands held
  • General commander of Ahrar al-Sham (2014–15)
  • Commander of the Army of Aleppo (February 2016)
  • Emir of Tahrir al-Sham (January–October 2017)
  • Shura head of Tahrir al-Sham (October 2017–present)
Battles/wars

Syrian Civil War

Hashim al-Shaykh (Arabic language:هاشم الشيخ‎), also known by his nom de guerre Abu Jaber Shaykh (Arabic language:أبو جابر الشيخ‎) is a rebel commander during the Syrian Civil War who is a senior leader of Tahrir al-Sham. He had reportedly resigned from his position in Ahrar al-Sham where he served as a senior commander to help command and direct the merger. Abu Jaber is a Sunni Muslim with a Salafist jihadist ideology, which is reflected in the ideology of the group he leads.[1]

Pre-war activitiesEdit

Abu Jaber received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Aleppo. After this, he worked at the Defence Factories near as-Safira. His Salafist activities led to him being arrested by the Syrian government several times. In 2005, he was imprisoned in the Sednaya Prison, infamous for holding a number of other Salafist prisoners who were later released.[1]

Syrian Civil WarEdit

On 25 September 2011, during the early phase of the Syrian Civil War, Abu Jaber was released from Sednaya Prison among a number of other Salafist and jihadist political prisoners. He joined Harakat Fajr ash-Sham al-Islamiya and fought alongside the al-Nusra Front. He led a subgroup within Harakat Fajr ash-Sham al-Islamiya called the Mus‘ab ibn 'Umair Battalion, which became one of the founding members of Ahrar al-Sham. Abu Jaber is one of the three surviving founding figures of Ahrar al-Sham.[1]

In September 2014, the founder and commander of Ahrar al-Sham, Hassan Aboud, was assassinated along with 45 of his fighters in a bombing in the Idlib Governorate. Abu Jaber replaced his position and became the overall commander of Ahrar al-Sham.[3] He resigned and was replaced by Muhannad al-Masri (Abu Yahya) in September 2015. An Ahrar al-Sham spokesman described Abu Jaber's leadership as the "hardest" period of the group.[4] On 15 February 2016, during the northern Aleppo offensive, 8 rebel factions pledged allegiance to Abu Jaber and established the Army of Aleppo to fight the Syrian Armed Forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces, including the Army of Revolutionaries.[2]

On 28 January 2017, Abu Jaber and dozens of other Ahrar al-Sham commanders declared their resignation from Ahrar al-Sham as 5 major Salafist and jihadist rebel groups led by the al-Nusra Front merged into Tahrir al-Sham. Abu Jaber became the group's emir.[5] Abu Jaber is one of the three surviving founding leaders of Ahrar al-Sham, and their decision to join the merger significantly discredited the group.[6]

Abu Jaber released a speech on 8 February 2017,[7] where he called Shia Muslims the "enemy"[8]

On 1 October 2017, Abu Jaber resigned from his position as the general commander of Tahrir al-Sham, being replaced by Abu Mohammad al-Julani. Abu Jaber took another position as the head of HTS's Shura council.[9]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 THOMAS JOSCELYN (10 February 2017). "Hay’at Tahrir al Sham leader calls for ‘unity’ in Syrian insurgency". Long War Journal. http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2017/02/hayat-tahrir-al-sham-leader-calls-for-unity-in-syrian-insurgency.php. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Aleppo rebels rally around former Ahrar leader". Now News. 16 February 2016. https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/NewsReports/566616-aleppo-rebels-rally-around-former-ahrar-leader. 
  3. "Syria rebels name slain leader's replacement". Al-Jazeera. 11 September 2014. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/09/syria-rebel-leader-killed-suicide-blast-201499181811320610.html. 
  4. "After trying period, Ahrar al-Sham infuses leadership with 'new blood'". Syria:direct. 13 September 2015. http://syriadirect.org/news/after-trying-period-ahrar-al-sham-infuses-leadership-with-new-blood/. 
  5. Thomas Joscelyn (28 January 2017). "Al Qaeda and allies announce ‘new entity’ in Syria". FDD's Long War Journal. http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2017/01/al-qaeda-and-allies-announce-new-entity-in-syria.php. 
  6. News, OGN (29 January 2017). "Tahrer Sham: Who won in this merger?". http://ogn.news/tahreer/. 
  7. Lister, Charles (8 Feb 2017). "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". https://twitter.com/Charles_Lister/status/829386342517895170. 
  8. Lister, Charles (9 Feb 2017). "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". https://twitter.com/Charles_Lister/status/829753360429547521. 
  9. "Julani is a temporary leader of the "Liberation of the Sham" .. This is the fate of its former leader". HuffPost. 2 October 2017. http://www.huffpostarabi.com/2017/10/02/story_n_18159996.html. 

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