Syrian Jihadi Cleric Accuses Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) Of Killing Malaysian Aviation Engineer Who Was Pursued By Coalition For Supervising And Funding UAV Manufacturing Project In Idlib

May 3, 2024

On April 28, 2024, a Syrian jihadi cleric published a post claiming that leader of Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) Abu Mohammad Al-Julani is ordering the killing of prisoners held in HTS-detention facilities including migrant jihadis who had outstanding military skills such as aviation engineers.

He also accused Al-Joulani of eliminating jihadis who had exceptional qualifications in manufacturing weapons including a Malaysian national called Habibullah Ahmed, also known as Hamza Al-Malaysi. Providing a background information on him, the cleric said that Al-Malaysi was an "aviation engineer from Malaysia who spent four years in Afghanistan, before he decided to move to Syria to support the Syrian revolution, its need to manufacture unmanned aerial vehicles," explaining that he was specialized in manufacturing this kind of weapons.

Discussing his ambition to utilize his engineering skills and his own money, the cleric said that Al-Malaysi wanted to manufacture UAVs that can target Khmeimim Air Base, a Syrian airbase currently operated by Russia, located south-east of the city of Latakia, Syria.

"His goal was to strike Hmeimim Airport and the depth of the Russian-Iranian forces [i.e., militias], and he was spending his own money on the project."

The post claims that the Malaysian engineer was the target of three assassination attempt by the U.S-led Coalition forces in Syria and that he lost his hand in one of them. It further claimed that HTS arrested him five years ago and his family was told recently that he was killed.

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